Armenian national air carrier Armavia will repay its loan of $5.3 million in full to Armenia International Airports (AIA), which owns Zvartnots International Airport just outside Yerevan, by September, AIA Deputy General Manager Andranik Shkhyan told reporters in the capital today after several days of tense negotiations between the two parties widely reported in the press.
According to him, the agreement signed between the two parties is aimed first and foremost to having a strong airline and was the main reason to meet all of Armavia’s demands. Shkhyan expressed hope that the repayment schedule will be adhered to and the airline will settle its debt in time, which has reached an enormous amount unacceptable for both the company and investors, he said.
“In the last four days we met with Armavia representatives and the working group established by RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan — to find a solution to these problems. In the end, we accepted all of Armavia’s demands and requests and signed a new agreement with this airline, which aims to assist in developing their program,” said AIA General Manager Marcelo Wende, also present at today’s press conference.
AIA also has many obligations to its other colleagues, he added.
“It has taken out a huge loan from three banks for construction of the new airport complex and it has to repay that loan. What’s being done for Armavia is something akin to an investment, expecting that there will be more flights and more passengers in the future. We hope that in the case of better tariffs the people will also win,” he said.
According to the company’s legal counsel Armen Ter-Tajatyan, loan repayment will begin in stages on Mar. 31 and will conclude in September, while the agreed tariffs will be in force for one year.
“New tariff rates have been set, which don’t differ from the rates announced by Armavia and are acceptable for them,” he said. The new rates will be in effect from Apr. 1 and if the airline doesn’t make its payments, then those tariffs won’t be applied.