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Air Armenia Halts Flights, Promises to Resume in Winter

Armenia’s air carrier Air Armenia company has temporarily halted their flights. Yesterday, the company’s official release stated the temporary halt, specifically blaming Rosaeronavigatsiya, the Russian federal air navigation service.

Air Armenia notes, that on Rosaeronavigatsiya’s statement released on September 11 of this year, the Russian service notes that the Armenian Airline is restricted to fly to Russian cities from September 21.

“The statement caused panic among passengers, creditors, and debtors.  Numerous passengers started to return their purchased tickets. A group of passengers refused to use the Armenian airline’s services. Sales decreased more than 60%. In parallel, all creditors began to demand money owed to them, declining to abide to former agreements, while debtors refused to transfer the money of already purchased tickets with the reasoning that when fliers refuse to fly with them, the company would be forced to return the money,” stressed Air Armenia’s released statement.

In addition to other issues, the company was forced to send two of its operating airplanes to the Netherlands for technical service. Some of the airplane (A320) owners demanded that their airplanes be sent to their own airports for unplanned technical service so they can feel their property is secure. The airline plans ”to collect some financial sources to be able to get back the 2 A320 airplanes, so as to go live with all the flights according to the winter schedule, announced previously starting from December 20.”

“To the surprise of many, Air Armenia found the vigor, strength and means to organize flights with only one aircraft,” the company said.

According to Air Armenia, some of the problems were also caused by certain ticket sale agents, “who kept the proceeds as guarantees for refunding the tickets”.

“As a result, the proceeds in Armenia came to a critical minimum and at present it is impossible to carry out passenger transportation. In the given situation the airline’s administration has made a decision to implement the restructuring of the organization’s finances with sharp steps and reform the flight schedule till December 20, putting emphasizes on the organization of flights to the main destinations that are in great demand,” the airline said.

Recently, Air Armenia has delayed their flight from Yerevan-Krasnodar four times likely due the company’s turbulent financial and logistical issues. Air Armenia began operating commercial passenger flights in 2013 after the bankruptcy and liquidation of Armavia, which had been dogged by financial problems for years. Armavia, in its turn, came to replace Armenian Airlines that ceased operation in 2002.