YEREVAN, October 23. /ARKA/. Armenia’s main international airport Zvartnots said it has resumed flights of the national carrier Armavia suspended Tuesday morning because of the airline’s debts to the facility.
Gevorg Abrahamyan, a spokesman for Zvartnots, was quoted as saying by RIA Novostri that the airport resumed the flights after ArmAvia paid another $150,000 of its over $3 million outstanding debt. He said the debt currently stands at $3.15 million, although under the agreement it has to be $2.36 million.
Earlier a source in the airline told RIA Novosti that the carrier transferred certain amount to the airport’s account on a daily basis.
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 Septemebr 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 operates more than 100 flights a week to 40 destinations in 20 countries. In April 2011, it became the first commercial airline to put a Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 into operation, but later cancelled its order for a second Superjet and tried to return the first. However, on October 5, Sukhoi announced that it had reached a new six-month leasing agreement with Armavia on the Superjet.
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 origin Eduardo Eurnekian. -0-