Thursday, November 14 2019 18:19
Naira Badalian

Armenia refuses "air tax" on new air flights from the republic

Armenia refuses "air tax" on new air flights from the republic

ArmInfo.On November 14, the Armenian government amended the law "On State Duty", which will allow the exemption in the form of an exception to the "air tax" to extend to new air flights  from Armenia.

As  Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Suren  Papikyan noted, presenting the draft decision, today the revenues  from the "air tax" to the state budget are annually about 11-12  billion drams.  "However, there is reason to believe that the  provision of benefits for this type of tax will have a positive  effect, especially considering that it will help to open new  directions and stimulate existing ones. In addition, due to the  multiplier effect, the state budget will receive additional  revenues," Papikyan noted.

According to him, the decision concerns all airlines that will launch  flights to new destinations in which no flights have been flown from  Armenia over the past 12 months. "This will create a competitive  environment," Papikyan said.

In turn, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan emphasized that on the basis  of meetings held in the government six months ago, a political  decision was made to eliminate the "air tax" for new directions. "As  a result, we already have one company that showed interest and  announced its intention to start flights to Yerevan and Gyumri. It's  about RyanAir. This was followed by criticism that one company is  granted privileges.  However, the privilege is not related to a  specific airline - we are ready to distribute it to all companies  that wish to enter the Armenian market, which will have a significant  impact on the pricing policy in the sector and economic development  in the country, "Pashinyan said.

Chairman of the Civil Aviation Committee Tatevik Revazyan, in turn,  noted that in addition to RyanAir, which has already announced its  intention to operate flights in 4 directions - two in Italy and two  in Germany and plans to expand in 3 more directions, local and  foreign companies. So, the Russian "Azimut" company has already  announced its intention to open an air route from Armenia to Kaluga  and plans to start flights from December 14th. The intention to  launch a new route was announced by AirBaltic, and the Wizz Air  low-cost airline has already agreed to the implementation of flights  to Armenia, but so far in an internal manner. "We have already  received proposals to launch 8 new directions, but we expect that by  the summer their number will increase to 10," Revazyan said.

As ArmInfo previously reported, Europe's largest low-cost airline  RyanAir announced the launch of flights from Yerevan and Gyumri.  According to David O'Brien, Commercial Director of RyanAir, the  company is launching activities in Armenia in three new directions.  In particular, direct flights to Rome and Milan will start from  Yerevan on January 14, and to Berlin from the end of March. The  information was perceived very ambiguously. The media reported that  RyanAir agreed to fly to Armenia after the RA authorities allocated  approximately $ 5 million a year to pay for airport taxes. The local  airline Taron-Avia, which recently announced that it was leaving the  country's aviation market, said it had asked for the privileges the  government had granted the Irish low-cost airline over the years.

Commenting on reports that the state allegedly abolishes the charges  for airlines at the airport, which amount to about $ 80 per  passenger, Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan assured that not a  single penny will be paid at the expense of taxpayers, in particular  the same RyanAir, which in three months will start operating flights  from Yerevan to large European cities at an average ticket price of  35 euros. 

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