ArmInfo. The newly established airline Azimut in the south of Russia plans to begin flights to Armenia and other EAEU countries as early as 2018, Dmitry Zvonarev, director of strategic development of the company, told journalists.
At the end of September, the chairman of Azimut's board of directors, Pavel Udod, suggested adding federal aviation rules (FAR) to allow flights to the EAEU countries at the initial stage of the airline's operation. According to the current version of the FAR, the new airline must fly at least two years before going on international routes. In turn, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that at the moment it has been decided to make changes to the FAR that allow airlines that have recently been created and use Russian aviation equipment to fly on regular routes, even if the number of their vessels is less than eight aircraft.
"Legislative decisions have now been made to change the rules for issuing licenses, now we can pretend to be a carrier for international flights with geographic restrictions on countries that are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, such as Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan. We are now very cautious, but we began preparations for international flights, we expect to start them in 2018," Zvonarev said.
The company is based in the new Platov airport in the Rostov region and Krasnodar. In Moscow, the creation of a base is not planned. By 2022 the fleet of the airline will consist of 16 vessels, at the moment the company has four aircraft. In the spring of 2018, another four vessels are expected to arrive. The airline plans to transport up to 100 thousand passengers by the end of 2017, and to 700 thousand in 2018. At the moment the airline makes flights from Rostov to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi, Omsk through the capital and Makhachkala. The capital of Dagestan and St. Petersburg can also fly from Krasnodar.