Armenian Airline Barred From Turkish Airspace


By Nane Sahakian

YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — An Armenian airline has been banned from operating commercial flights through Turkish airspace for still unclear reasons, its representative said on Monday, May 1.

On April 29, a Flyone Armenia plane operating a flight from Paris to Yerevan had to land in Chisinau, Moldova, after Turkey’s aviation authorities banned it from entering the country’s airspace. Flyone Armenia said it had not been informed about the decision in advance.

The Armenian airline’s representative told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that they still did not know why Turkey had revised its permission.

“Some of our flights to Europe that are operated through Turkish airspace cannot be carried out using Turkish airspace for the time being. We have no information about the reasons,” Aram Ananyan, chairman of Flyone Armenia’s board, said.

He said that the Armenian airline had received all the permissions to operate flights through Turkish airspace during the 2023 summer season in advance. “We do not see any reason related to any aviation activity that would lead to this decision,” Ananyan added.

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Flights operated from Armenia to Europe have few alternatives to transit through Turkish airspace because of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war as a result of which much of the region’s airspace is declared a no-fly zone.

But Flyone Armenia’s official has pledged that the airline will carry out all its flights as scheduled in cooperation with European partners and that no ticket holder will face any problems. He did not elaborate.

Flyone Armenia, which was founded in 2021 and operates flights to several destinations in Europe and Russia, since last year has also operated Yerevan-Istanbul-Yerevan flights. Meanwhile, the Turkish Pegasus airline has been operating Istanbul-Yerevan-Istanbul flights.

The resumption of air flights between Armenia and Turkey in 2022 was touted by both countries as progress in their efforts to achieve normalization after decades of feud over historical issues.

Flyone Armenia said it assumed that the ban concerned transit through Turkish airspace and not flights to and from Istanbul, as the Turkish side has not informed the Armenian airline about any obstacles to these flights yet.

Armenia’s General Department of Civil Aviation did not comment immediately on whether the Turkish ban applies only to Flyone Armenia or in general to all Armenia-registered airlines. It promised to answer questions on May 2 when its officials return to work after the holiday.

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