MIAMI – New Armenian airline FlyArmenia (VF) is working on defining its network scheme to serve nine destinations from Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport (EVN).
The carrier, which received its air operator’s certificate in July, has published a tentative schedule on its website but no flights are bookable at the moment due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Armenian Authorities in the wake of COVID-19.
The First Nine Routes
According to Routesonline.com, VF plans to operate the following routes:
In the future plans of VF, there is also the possibility to start roundtrip between EVN and Beijing (PEK), Istanbul (IST), Shanghai (PVG) and St Petersburg (LED).
The Armenian company, regardless of its statement at the Armenian civil aviation authority DGCA, VF remains very secretive as to its fleet plans.
The airline said it wanted to use unspecified Boeing 737, but also A300B4(F) and Boeing 747-200(F) freighters to run prospective intercontinental cargo services. It has yet to take delivery of any aircraft.
On its website, it currently lists a fleet comprised of A319-100, Boeing 737-300, and Boeing 757-200.
Issues to Be Resolved before Starting EU Routes
While the European Union and Armenia concluded negotiations of an open skies treaty back in November 2017, the agreement needs to be ratified. As such, VF would have to secure individual traffic rights for its routes to the EU. Also, the carrier has yet to obtain its Third Country Operator status, without which it would not be permitted to fly to the bloc.
The carrier’s EU plans are likely to be further complicated by the blacklisting of the General Department of Civil Aviation of Armenia (GDCA) by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after multiple glitches in its safety and regulatory policies revealed during an audit in February. Currently, no Armenian carriers are certified to operate within the EU.
Nagorno-Karabakh Political Issue
Without judging the political and social turmoil in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the outcomes coming from the conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan are delaying the start of operations for VF.
In September 2020, this area from a Low-intensity conflict pass to a Full-Scale War after the deadliest ceasefire violation.
The fragile humanitarian ceasefire brokered by Russia, facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and agreed to by both Armenia and Azerbaijan, formally came into effect on October 10.
Featured image: FlyArmenia