Why did former Lufthansa Group representatives visit Armenia and why did no one speak about this visit?

A new airline, Fly Armenia Airways, has entered the Armenian aviation market. It plans on carrying out flights to Russia, including Moscow, Sochi, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Kaliningrad, as well as the Middle East, including Damascus, Tel Aviv, and the European cities Prague and Marseilles.

Aravot Daily spoke to the director of Fly Armenia Airways, Norbert Winkler, and attempted to understand the plans and projects that the airline had and what it intended to do in the Armenian aviation market. Aravot Daily asked Norbert Winkler if it was his first visit to Armenia and what connection he had to Armenia in the past. He responded, “I have been to Armenia before, but my visit was connected to a terrible incident, which was the 1988 earthquake in Spitak. I came to Armenia as a pilot, and I was transporting medication and equipment. My current visit also has to do with aviation, but this time, it is a business trip.” The director said that the main goal of Fly Armenia Airways is to provide safe and reliable flights. “We will provide the kind of service that will please our customers.” The company’s official website says that it will not only be carrying out passenger flights, but cargo flights as well. He also said, “Fly Armenia Airways intends to develop and improve Armenian aviation. As an Armenian airline, we intend to create an airline that every Armenian will be proud of.”

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When asked about when the airline will begin its flights, Norbert Winkler said, “At the moment, the airline is completely involved in preparing for flights. We have received our ICAO and IATA codes, which will be refreshed on the IATA website soon. When flights will take place depends on the state of emergency. When it is over, we will be able to start selling tickets.”

The airline’s website also specifically emphasizes the importance of the Armenian Diaspora. Winkler said, “The diaspora is one of our main targets. Besides the three million people living in Armenia, there are also nine million Armenians in the world. We plan on expanding our list of flights to include flights to the USA and China.”

When asked if the fact that Armenian aircraft carriers are on the EU’s blacklist will cause problems for the airline to carry out flights to Europe, Norbert Winkler said, “We have an agreement to carry out flights to Europe, which will allow us to do so in the beginning. We also intend to be audited by the EASA and obtain the proper permission to carry out flights to Europe.”

We were unable to find any information about this visit on the official platforms of the Civil Aviation Committee. Aravot Daily sent a message to the CAC asking if the committee had met with the Fly Armenia Airways team and why the committee did not mention it. The assistant to the chairperson of the CAC, Zhenya Ter-Vardanyan, responded, “The Civil Aviation Committee frequently has meetings with registered airlines in Armenia, including Fly Armenia Airways. We discuss current and developing issues with the airlines. Based on the fact that these meetings are of a business nature and they take place frequently, the Civil Aviation Committee does not announce when these meetings take place.”

Tatev Harutyunyan

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