YEREVAN(Arka) — Air Armenia, a local airline that suspended its regular flights to a dozen destinations in Russia and Europe late last year because of millions of dollars in unpaid debts to several Armenian banks and other firms, said it plans to resume operations.
Sirakan Hambardzumyan, Air Armenia’s marketing director, told ARKA that a court of general jurisdiction in Yerevan had approved the airline’s recovery program just yesterday, thus confirming its shareholders’ meeting’s decision to give the airline an opportunity to resume operation and pay its debts instead of being declared bankrupt.
Hambardzumyan said the East Prospect Fund that holds 49% of shares had paid part of debts including debts to navigation services, aviation fuel and so forth.
“The company plans to return to the market, but it is difficult to say how soon it will happen. This is business; we have solved the problems with financing, and will definitely return to the market,” Hambardzumyan said.
A court in Yerevan declared Air Armenia bankrupt based on a claim filed by HSBC Bank Armenia due to a 2.150 million euro debt. Air Armenia took the case to the Court of Appeal, which, however, declined it upholding the lower court’s ruling.
In August 2015, the off-shore-registered East Prospect Fund pledged to invest an additional $68 million in the troubled carrier. However, the company failed to monetize the bonds.
As of September 2015, the debts of the company amounted to $16 million owed to several lenders, including Ameriabank, Conversebank, Ingo Armenia insurance company and others.