September 30
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The European Union’s (EU) ban on Armenian air carriers was a heavy blow for that industry. Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Gnel Sanosyan stated this during the debates on the performance of the 2022 state budget at the joint session of the National Assembly committees Tuesday, adding that Armenia hopes to correct the situation in the coming months.

"In the summer, Armenian airlines will be audited in order to resume flights to EU countries. This was a big blow to the [Armenian] airlines, but they are working to reopen the European skies," said Sanosyan.

"To put it simply, we need to do about 41 processes to get out of that field. More than half of them, 22-23, have already been done; the others are in progress. A big test awaits us in the summer this year. The partners who are constantly following what work we are doing in this direction, they have representatives here, they work with our aviation, another group will also come, and our companies will be audited. If our companies pass this audit, it will be an achievement for all of us because it will be followed by the [re]opening of the routes to Europe for these [Armenian] airlines," explained the minister.

According to him, Armenia's European partners will conduct an audit this summer, within two months.

"If our airlines successfully pass it, they will be able to fly [again] to Europe," added Sanosyan.

Now, Armenian air carriers can fly to Europe only with wet lease planes; that is, with foreign crew, maintenance, and insurance. If the aforesaid audit is successful, the Armenian air carriers will receive TCO (Third Country Operator) licenses, which will allow them to fly independently.

On June 2, 2020, the European Commission had published an updated EU aviation blacklist, and Armenia was on it for the first time—with all local air carriers. This blacklist is the EU Air Safety List. According to EU aviation regulations, since June 2020, all Armenian air carriers have been banned from entering EU airspace.

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