It remains to be seen just how the Armenian company Armavia Airlines, which had been operational for around 10 years, went into bankruptcy. No one knows why that, in 2005, a popular company holding a monopoly in the domestic airlines industry for a decade declared itself bankrupt, especially when it had no obstructions to business.
Hetq has attempted to track the ups and downs of Armavia Airlines from its beginnings to the present day.
Armavia was officially registered as a company on December 12, 1996. The founders were Yerevan residents Ararat Sargsyan, Hovik Davtyan, Ohan Semirjyan, Isahak Seyranyan and Aviatrans LLC. The company is not found in the electronic registry today. It wasn’t until 2001 when the name of the company officially changed to Armavia Airlines LLC.
The biggest shareholder in the company was Aviatrans, which was registered at 15 Mashtots Street in Yerevan. The company was later dissolved, but today a company called Aviatrans CSC, one of the founders being Isahak Seyranyan, is registered at that same address. This company operates as a travel agency.
It’s not clear what the company was doing when it was founded in 1996. However, in 1999 the company changed its purpose of activity in the electronic registery. With that change Ararat Sargsyan left the list of shareholders. In October 2001, Hovik Davtyan, Ohan Semirjyan and Isahak Seyranyan relinquished their shares to Mikayel Baghdasarov’s Mika Armenia Trading CSC (Edmond Asiryan was registered as the founder). The company was renamed Armavia Airlines CSC. One month later, Armavia sold its shares to Aviatrans and was registered to Liparit Poghosyan of Yerevan and Slavik Koshtoyan of Mgarshen.
It’s interesting to note that a director wasn’t listed in the electronic registry for the company until 2003. We do know that until 2008 Armavia’s registered legal address was 15 Mashtots and was later changed to Zvartnots Airport.
The First Airliner
Armavia started operating its flights in 2001. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) granted Armavia the U8 airline code and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) gave the company the RNV code, while the airline’s identifying mark was ARMAVIA. Flights were bound for Russia and Turkey. At the time Armenian Airlines was still operational. According to the aviation registration database, Armavia had one airliner in 2001, the Tu-134A (registration number EK-65575, serial number 62350), which was 22 years old.
This airplane was under lease from the Sochi-based company Chernomor-Avia. The company was founded by the former director of Gyumri Airport Hamlet Koshtoyan, a relative of Slavik Koshtoyan. It’s no coincidence that in 2004 the EK-65575 registration number was given to another company founded by the Koshtoyans called Gyumri Airlines CSC (the mentioned aircraft was the only plane in service by the company).
Siberia Airlines Makes Inroads Into Armavia
In September 2002, Armavia’s ownership was reshuffling. Liparit Poghosyan and Slavik Koshtoyan sold their shares to Natalya Filyova, from Novosibirsk, Russia, who is one of Russia’s wealthiest women today. Both she and her husband Vladislav Filyov are the founders of S7 Group, which includes Siberia (S7) Airlines and Globus Airlines. Filyova became a 50 percent shareholder in Armavia while Mika Armenia Trading owned the other half of the shares.
One month later on October 2, Armavia received its first Airbus A320-211 aircraft (factory number 726), which was fairly new, built only five years prior. The plane was owned by International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) and leased to Siberian Airlines, although it was operated by Armavia.
It wasn’t until June 2013 when the aircraft’s lease was transferred to Armavia, registered with the number EK-32007 (this same aircraft was leased to Georgian National Airlines, now Sky Georgia, from January to April in 2005). In the fall of 2005 the aircraft was returned to ILFC.
On March 14, 2003, Siberia Airlines and Armavia signed an investment agreement, as Siberia’s invested shares amounted to 68 percent. In December 2003, Filyova renewed her registered 68 percent in shares under the name AviaFin CSC, of which she was the sole shareholder. At that same time Andrey Nikitin of Novosibirsk was appointed Armavia’s General Director and served until 2005.
In 2003, the second year of its partnership with Siberia Airlines, Armavia acquired two more aircraft, including a second leased Airbus A320-211. It had been operated in Australia and was 12 years old. The airplane was registered with the number EK-32008 in Armenia. According to Planefinder.net, the owner of the aircraft is CIT Leasing Corporation.
Hetq wrote about this plane, named after the composer Aram Khachaturian, in 2013. We have not been able to find information about the fleet of Atlantis European Airways, which was founded by Aram Marutyan, the Deputy Head of the General Department of Civil Aviation (GDCA) at the time.
However, GDCA informed us that one of the aircraft was surprisingly the EK-32008. As the Certificate of Registration posted on the Atlantis European Airways web site shows, on May 29, 2014 the ownership of the plane was transferred to Unibank CJSC and the operator was Atlantis (the certificate expired at the end of the year). According to aviation web sites, for a considerable time the aircraft has been parked at the Prague Airport for Atlantis European Airways.
In December 2003, Armavia registered another airplane, an ATR-42-320, that was leased from the French-Italian company ATR. The plane, which was previously operated by American, Canadian and Algerian carriers, received the registration number EK-42023. Both this plane and another acquired in January of 2004, an ATR-42-300 (EK-42022), were returned very soon to the same owner in April 2004. The ATR-42 (42 signifying the seat count), which was designed for short-haul flights, did not meet the company’s expectations.