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.