YEREVAN, December 10. / ARKA /. Switching to the so-called ‘open skies’ policy would make Armenia’s international airport Zvartnots to bring ts ground service prices down by 7 percent, according to Arman Khachatryan, the executive director of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia, who presented today the benefits and advantages of this policy at a news conference.
Acting on a recommendation by McKinsey & Company and the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia the Armenian government liberalized the domestic civil aviation sector in late October saying that all local and foreign airlines meeting safety standards will be allowed to fly to and from Armenia without special authorizations or other restrictions.
"In recent years there has been much talk about very high prices applied by Zvartnots airport, but in fact, its prices are higher of prices in neighboring countries by only 7 % and the reasons is that fewer international flights are made to Armenia,” he said.
"The policy of open skies is expected t increase the frequency of flights to Armenia and therefore the business model used by Zvartnots to ensure profit will have to be revised because the larger the passenger traffic the lower services prices are ," he said.
But according to Yeghishe Tanashyan, the deputy chairman of the Armenian Union of Travel Agents, the reason why foreign airlines refuse to fly to Armenia is high ground service prices charged by Zvartnots airport. High ground prices were also cited as one of the causes making former national carrier Armavia to declare itself bankrupt. -0-