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November 18
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YEREVAN. – No taxpayer money will be given to Ryanair airline. Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tigran Avinyan, on Monday told about this to reporters.

“We have set the ‘air fee’ exemption for all [airline] companies that will service new destinations that haven’t been serviced in the past 12 months,” he noted. “No other exemptions were granted.”

Asked what profits the airline expects in this case, Avinyan replied: “I’m not familiar with the details of the business plan, but the whole logic of such [airline] companies is that they focus on effectiveness.”

To the remark that Ryanair might acquire a monopoly position in Armenia’s aviation market and eliminate the other airlines in the market, the deputy PM responded: “The exemption is not set for one [airline] company, but for the destination which creates a new arena for the competition to improve and new players to enter the market. There was only talk of additional assistance [to Ryanair]—with the joint efforts of the European Union and Gyumri airport—which again the taxpayers [of Armenia] will not pay.”

Also, Tigran Avinyan stressed that a country like Armenia has a task of strengthening its connections by air and increasing the number of direct flights, and the second direction it needs to develop is to promote a domestic airline program which, however, can be discussed in about one or two years.

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