Tuesday, December 20 2016 17:51
Naira Badalian

Head of General Department of Civil Aviation considers that joining Open Skies policy was justified

Head of General Department of Civil Aviation considers that joining  Open Skies policy was justified

ArmInfo. Head of General  department of Civil Aviation of Armenia Sergey Avetisyan considers  justified Armenia's joining ''Open Skies'' policy. ''From the moment  when the Open Skies policy was announced Armenia has exceeded  expectations", Sergey Avetisyan stated answering to ArmInfo's  question related to results achieved within the announced policy. 

Meanwhile, according to Avetisyan implementation of Open Skies policy  is a positive process.  He noted that prior to 2013 Armenia  cooperated with other countries in the field of air transport based  on inter-governmental agreements, which set a number of restrictions  in the context of frequency, tariffs and number of airline companies  operating on the air market. "After joining "Open Skies" policy  starting from 2013 Armenia has revised its aviation relations with 20  countries of the world, while signing the Common Aviation Area  Agreement with the EU will provide an opportunity to liberalize  relations with 28 countries of EU", he stated. 

The Head of GDCA thinks that within 4 years of open sky policy  Armenia has exceeded figures set in the Program of ensuring provision  of competitive and long-term services of air transport in Armenia.  "The program of open sky policy envisaged growth of passenger flow,  reduction of prices on air tickets and a number of other indicators,  which we have more than exceeded", he stated. At the same time he did  not provide any numbers related to ensuring additional GDP or  creation of new job places. 

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. -l- To note, following the liquidation of Armavia, the  "open sky" policy resulted in large-scale exodus of foreign companies  from the Armenian market. As a result, due to the high prices of air  tickets, many Armenian passengers prefer to make use of the services  of neighboring Georgia, where there are several low- cost European  companies.

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