YEREVAN, September 20. / ARKA /. Armenia’s international airport Zvartnots suspended Thursday the flights of the national carrier Armavia, a spokeswoman for Zvartnots, Gevorg Abrahamyan, said, adding that the airport stopped handling Armavia’s flight because of the airline’s debts.
He said Zvartnots will resume servicing Armavia’s flights only after it pays a certain amount. Armavia said it failed to pay its current debt to the airport because three days (September 15-17 September), including Monday, were not workdays. It said it will be able to pay part of the debt within 2-3 days only. “Ahead of September 21 Independence Day, which will be followed by two non-working days the airport wants Armavia to make a prepayment, but it is impossible, the airline said in a statement. It also rebuked the airport for such attitude towards the national carrier ahead of Independence Day, because of causing inconvenience to passengers.
This is not the first conflict between the airport and the airline. On March 6 Armavia announced an open-ended strike after failed negotiations with Zvartnots international airport over reducing service and other prices. Armavia was also locked in a similar dispute with Russia’s Rosnavigatsia air navigation agency, which refused to authorize Armavia flights to Russia on March 6 citing Armavia’s failure to pay for navigation services. But on the same day the ban was lifted after Rosnavigatsia received written debt repayment assurances from Armavia.
After this Armavia and Zvartnots signed an agreement committing the airline to pay the debt according to a reconciled schedule.
Armavia was founded in 1996. In 2005 all its shares were acquired by businessman Mikhail Baghdasarov. The company operates more than 100 flights a week to over 40 destinations in 20 countries. It owns and runs Airbus, CRJ, Boeing, as well as Sukhoi Superjet aircrafts.
Armenia - International Airports operates Zvartnots airport in accordance with the 30-year concession agreement, signed with the Armenian government in 2001. The company is owned by Argentinean American International Airports, which belongs to the Argentine Armenian businessman Eduardo Eurnekian. -0-