ArmInfo. "I do not think that the air ticket prices in Armenia are low or that the local market is diversified," Sergey Avetisyan, Head of the General Department of Civil Aviation, told reporters on October 27. "We have a lot of problems, but we are actively working. The ticket prices will be reduced and the progress is already obvious," Avetisyan said. He noted that the Russian low- cost Pobeda air carrier is entering the Armenian market. This meets the joint plans of the Government and owner of Zvartnots CJSC to develop Shirak airport in Gyumri as an airport working with low-cost companies. He said that the announced 10 thsd AMD ticket price for Pobeda is realistic for a certain segment of air tickets. It is not yet known what percentage of the tickets will be sold at this price, he said, noting that a Boeing 737-800 will serve the flights (180 seats) and the upper price threshold will not be high, because it should maintain the competitive advantages of the airport in Gyumri.
Avetisyan said that service prices in Shirak airport are much lower than in Zvartnots airport. Due to the legislative changes, passengers are exempted from the 10thsd AMD air tax. This also contributed to establishment of low tariffs. Avetisyan noted that negotiations are currently being held with other air carriers, too. "The aviation market of Russia remains direction number one for Armenia," he said, adding that appearance of any new player on the market influences the formation of the price policy in the field.
It was reported earlier that the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) has given a permit to Pobeda low-cost carrier (member of Aeroflot Group) to make flights from Moscow to Gyumri, the second largest city of Armenia. The flights will be carried out 7 times a week. In August 2016, Rosaviatsia gave Pobeda a permit to operate flights to Yerevan. The sale of the air tickets to Yerevan was to be launched by autumn, but the flights have not been opened so far. Pobeda operates flights to 58 destinations, including Italy, Germany, Spain, Slovakia, Montenegro, and Cyprus. Pobeda also carries out flights inside Russia - mainly, from Moscow and Krasnodar Territory.
According to the official statement of the General Department of Civil Aviation, starting from late November 2016 Pobeda will make three fights a week from Moscow (Vnukovo airport) to Gyumri (Shirak airport) and back. The air ticket price will start from 10,000 AMD (nearly 21 USD).
On October 20, while presenting the government program, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan stated in Parliament that the Armenian government intends to re-launch the airport in Gyumri, the second largest city of Armenia. According to him the government is holding negotiations with a number of low-cost companies for this purpose.
To recall, no flights have been conducted from Shiak airport in Gyumri for a long period of time. The only flight Gyumri-Moscow was suspended in the beginning of this year. To note, "Shirak" airport is part of "Armenia" International Airports" CJS, established by the famous Argentinean businessman of Armenian descent Eduardo Eurnekian. The airport "Shirak" of Gyumri was built in 1961 and with its indices it is the second in the Republic of Armenia. The airport is 5 km away from Gyumri and 120 km away from Yerevan. The building and the runway of the present functioning airport have been put into operation in 1982. The airport "Shirak" of Gyumri can be considered the second international alternate airport of Armenia.