Armenian Airlines Aeroflot Sign Agreement

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Aeroflot Russian International Airlines and Armenian Airlines signed an agreement Monday–resolving to be partners in developing and responding to their respective countries’ transportation needs.

Aeroflot President Valeri Okulov said that cooperation will be conducted both within the framework of Russia-Armenia transportation and transportation abroad and in the CIS countries–as well as in the spheres of technical service and airline personnel training.

He reported that preparations are being made for an agreement on combined codes between the two airline companies.

Aeroflot’s delegation–which was on a one-day visit to Yerevan Monday–met with President Robert Kocharian and Prime Minister Armen Darbinian.

The president of the former Soviet monopoly is a son-in-law of Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin.

Armenian Airlines President Tigran Achoyan said that a protocol on intent had also been signed. Stressing the importance of signing these documen’s–Achoyan pointed out that Armenian Airlines has 17 bilateral and around 140 multilateral agreemen’s with different companies of the world.

Currently–Aeroflot is operating flights to 84 countries of the world. The company’s share in international transportation operated by Russian air companies is 70 percent. Okulov told journalists that no privatization of the Armenian company had been discussed during the negotiations and Aeroflot is not planning any concrete actions in this direction. As for Airbus planes–according to Okulov–the rent of these planes by Aeroflot four years ago produced a greater row in Russia than in Armenia.

The first A-310 plane was named the grave-digger of the Russian air industry. However–the company needs a competitive flying-stock to maintain and expand its markets–said Okulov–underlining that it is due to A-310 that Aeroflot had been able to retain its Japanese market.

In this connection–Armenian prime minister Armen Darbinian said he believed that there are great prospects and potential in cooperating with Aeroflot.

According to Okulov–all conditions for developing further mutually advantageous cooperation have been created. Darbinian said that despite some difficulties of the transition period–the Armenian aviation succeeded in using the available financial possibilities as much as possible.

"Today we can be an equal partner of the world’s biggest companies," the prime minister said. He also added that if the investment programs are used correctly–it will be possible to considerably increase the cargo transportation.

In that connection the sides stressed the importance of effective operation of the Zvartnots airport’s cargo terminal.

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