Taron-Avia Prepares to Take-Off in Armenian Market

A start-up carrier hopes to succeed where others have failed and establish a sustainable aviation business in the the Central Asian country of Armenia. Taron-Avia, named after a canton of the Turuberan province of the historic Greater Armenia, aims to begin scheduled passenger flights to Russia this autumn and not suffer the same fate as former national entities such as Armavia and Armenian Airlines.

Although the carrier has almost ten years experience in the cargo business, this will be its first growth into scheduled passenger operations. It intends to launch operations from September 2015 using a small fleet of three Boeing 737-500s that have already been acquired and are currently undergoing pre-service maintenance in Jordan.

"We will be based in Yerevan,” confirmed the airline’s chief executive officer, Garnik Papikyan, in a recent interview. “From the Armenian capital, we mainly want to fly to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Rostov, Krasnodar, Adler/Sochi, Volgograd, Voronezh and others," he told ATO news in the interview.

According to OAG Schedules Analyser, Russian airlines dominate the market between Armenia and Russia with majors Aeroflot, S7 Airlines, Transaero Airlines, Ural Airlines and UTair, plus smaller carriers such as Airline Tajmyr, Grozny Avia and Saratov Airlines also currently serving the market.

Next month’s schedules show that a total of 17 destinations in Russia will be served non-stop from Armenia, all from the country’s main gateway, Zvartnots International Airport: Moscow Domodedovo is also linked to Shirak International Airport in Gyumri by Saratov Airlines and Ural Airlines.

The main markets are to the Russian capital Moscow with its three airports accounting for 69.4 per cent of the available seat capacity during the month (Domodedovo: 33.7 per cent share; Sheremetyevo: 24.0 per cent share and Vnukovo: 14.7 per cent share), followed by Rostov-on-Don, Sochi International and Pashkovsky Airport in Krasnodar, all with a 4.4 per cent capacity share in August 2015.

The dominant carrier between Armenia and Russia is Aeroflot Russian Airlines with a 40.7 per cent capacity share in August 2015, followed by S7 Airlines with a 26.8 per cent share, Ural Airlines with a 13.9 per cent share and Transaero Airlines with a 10.1 per cent share.

Our analysis of Sabre Airport Data Intelligence demand statistics shows a growing demand for air travel between Armenia and the Russian Federation, which has been facilitated by better air access between the two countries over recent years.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…