YEREVAN, October 23. / ARKA /. Air Armenia company is ready to participate in a government tender that will be announced to choose a national air carrier, Air Armenia president Vahan Harutyunyan told reporters today after the company flew the first passenger aircraft from Yerevan to Russian Rostov-on-Don.
Air Armenia is the first Armenian airline permitted by the government to operate passenger flights after the national airline Armavia decided to suspend flights on April 1 and begin bankruptcy proceedings.
The flight from Yerevan to Rostov –on-Don was made by a leased Boing 737-500. According to Vahan Harutyunyan , the company will lease an Airbus A-320 in several days. He said the goal is to have six aircraft in 2014.
Mr. Harutyunyan said the company will submit a bid to contest the tender once it is announced. He said having a national airline is a necessity, because Armenia is a landlocked country with a transport blockade imposed by neighboring Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Air Armenia carries out charter cargo flights to former Soviet republics, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The company began operations in 2003. Currently it operates 8 Soviet and Russia-manufactured aircraft : An12 , AN24 , AN26 , Yak40 , TU134 , TU154 , IL76 and IL86. -0-