The Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) and Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the Middle East and North Africa, have signed an agreement to establish Armenia’s new national airline.
The agreement calls for the establishment of an independent joint venture company that will operate as a low-cost passenger airline, with its base at Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport (EVN).
The new national airline will support Armenia’s strategic vision of fast-growing travel and tourism sector that contributes to the country’s economic progress while also providing Armenians with a dependable and cost-effective air travel option.
Mr. David Papazian, CEO of ANIF, said, “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. Air Arabia has a well-established track record in launching and operating successful LCCs, and its know-how will be a differentiating strength of the new airline.”
According to reports, the new company, which will be based in Yerevan, will follow Air Arabia’s low-cost business strategy. The process of obtaining the Air Operating Certificate (AOC), which authorizes the airline to begin operations, will begin soon.
“We are delighted at Air Arabia Group to partner with ANIF on this joint venture to launch Armenia’s new national low-cost carrier. We see tremendous potential for Armenia in building its airline sector, which will add sustained value to the economy through job creation and the development of the travel and tourism sector.”
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, a joint venture with Abu Dhabi state-owned Etihad Airways, started operations last year and has since expanded its network to 15 destinations to accommodate the rising demand for low-cost travel from the capital.
Air Arabia has been expanding rapidly in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak last year as low-cost carriers bet on a post-pandemic surge in travel. It operates five hubs in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Egypt and Morocco, and its shares are listed on the Dubai Financial Market.
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