Air Arabia signs JV to create new national airline for Armenia

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The Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) and Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) operator, announced the signing of an agreement to launch Armenia’s new national airline on Wednesday.

The agreement will see the establishment of an independent joint venture company that will operate as a low-cost passenger airline with Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport (EVN) as its base.

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The new national airline will serve the strategy of Armenia’s travel and tourism sector as well as contributes to the country’s economic growth, while providing Armenians with a reliable and value for money air travel.

“We are excited to launch a new national low-cost carrier for Armenia that will contribute significant value to the economy and energize our travel and tourism sector, David Papazian, Chief Executive Officer of ANIF, said.

Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, said that the carrier sees “tremendous potential for Armenia in building its airline sector, which will add sustained value to the economy through job creation and the development of travel and tourism sector.”

Based in Yerevan, the new company will adopt the low-cost business model operated by Air Arabia. Work on securing the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) - which allows the airline to start operating- will commence shortly. More details about the launch date, fleet, and destination network will be announced in due course.

Over the course of the past decade, Armenia has recorded some impressive gains as its tourism industry begins to recognize its full potential. The Armenian travel and tourism sector contributed to nearly 11.8 percent of the country’s GDP in 2019 and accounted for 12.5 per cent of the total employment.

The name of the airline will be decided by the people of Armenia through an open competition that started on Wednesday and lasts for four weeks, whereby Armenian’s wishing to participate can send their name suggestions to [email protected]. The last day for participating is August 14th after which the company’s board of directors will go through received suggestions and select the final name.

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