YEREVAN, October 24. /ARKA/. Armenia’s international airport Zvartnots has again ceased operating flights of the national carrier Armavia because of debts, Gevorg Abrahamyan, the spokesman of the airport, said today.
“On Tuesday, the airport ceased operating the flights, because Armavia has failed to pay its outstanding debt to the facility, according to a schedule stipulated by an agreement they had reached earlier,” he told RIA Novosti.
He said under the agreement the current debt should not surpass $2.26 million, whereas it is now amounting to $3.36 million.
A source fr om Armavia told RIA Novosti earlier that the company every day transfers to the airport certain amount, and the cause is probably that the air company will have new shareholders soon, and the airport’s management is opposed to it.
According to Nana Avetisova, the press secretary of Armavia, some companies and individuals, including those from other countries, are interested in acquisition of Armavia, and negotiations over the matter are under way now.
The suspension of services is just the latest in a series of disputes between Armavia and Zvartnots, concerning the level of service charges set by the airport. Flights have been suspended several times – in November 2011, March, in September and several times in October.
Armavia argues that the service charges at Zvartnots, Armenia’s main international airport are unreasonably high. Mikhail Baghdasarov, the airline’s majority shareholder since 2005, has several times said that Armavia might be forced to file for bankruptcy unless the charges are reduced. After the September suspension the sides were said to have signed a new debt-restructuring deal. In case of breach of the agreement the airport reserves the right to sue the airline.
Armavia was established in 1996. In 2005, MIKA Lim ited President Mikhail Baghdasarov, one of Armenia’s most prominent entrepreneurs, became the sole owner of the company. Armavia operates more than 100 flights a week to 40 destinations in 20 countries. The company operates Airbuses, CRJs, Boeings and Russia-produced Sukhoi Superjets.
Zvartnots airport is run by Armenia - International Airports Company under a 30-year concession agreement signed with the Armenian government in 2001. The owner of the company is the Argentine American International Airports, owned by Argentine citizen of Armenian descent Eduardo Eurnekian. -0--