ArmInfo. Anna Chobanyan is one of the most likely candidates for the position of new head of General Department of Civil Aviation, ArmInfo's sources in the Department inform.
To recall, on June 8, 2018 Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a decree on the resignation of the Head of the General Department of Civil Aviation of Armenia, Sergey Avetisyan. Ironically, exactly two years ago he was appointed to this post by the decision of the then Prime Minister of Armenia Hovik Abrahamyan. Prior to that, Sergey Avetisyan held the post of Deputy Minister of Economy of Armenia, where he supervised the aviation sector. Anna Chobanyan also worked there as head of the Civil Aviation Administration. After Avetisyan's appointment, she, after the chief, moved to the Department receiving the post of the head of the air traffic regulation department.
Meanwhile, since working in the Ministry, Avetisyan and Chobanyan have been actively promoting the idea of an "open sky". Already in the Department of Civil Aviation, responding tocriticism on policy of non-action to local air carriers and "zero" restrictions for foreign airlines, she stated that this is stipulated by the policy of the so-called "open skies". " The 'open sky ' policy does not envisage assistance from the state to any airline, whether local, Russian or European," Chobanyan was declaring, adding a very dubious thesis that allegedly "even in European countries assistance of this kind is not provided, as they have liberal regime for all airlines. "
To recall, the national air carrier of Armenia - Armavia - suspended its flights on 1 April 2013 and launched the bankruptcy procedure. In 2014 the same happened to Air Armenia.
On October 23, 2013, the Armenian government approved the program implying provision of competitive and long- term air transportation services in the country. The program is based on a joint study of McKinsey & Company and National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia. According to the program Open Skies policy would have positive impact on opening of job places, growth of passenger transportation and reduction of tariffs. Particularly, it was anticipated that the Open Skies policy would reduce the prices of flights to Armenia by 10% on the average, would lead to opening of 18.000-23.000 new jobs, growth of passenger turnover by 20- 25%. According to the plan this would allow the country to additionally increase the GDP by 1.5% or $0.3-0.4 bln AMD per annum. Nothing of that happened. Armenia being blocked by neighbors does not have its national airline and considering the possible appointment it will not have any in the nearest future.
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