Yesterday at work some said another situation occurred involving the burning of an airplane belonging to Armavia Airlines in Brussels. We turned on the television only to find that reports confirmed that at least one Airbus airliner was burning in a hanger, which itself was melting like a semi-circle shaped piece of plastic wrap.
An article that appeared on ArmeniaLiberty confirmed that not one Armenian airliner, but two—identical to the plane that crashed near Sochi on the Black Sea early Wednesday morning, an Airbus A320—were completely destroyed along with two other planes. The second Armenian plane belonged to a smaller airline. Arson is not suspected to be the cause of the fire.
This of course means that three Airbus planes have been destroyed in less than a week, and the Armenian airline Armavia’s business will seriously suffer as a result. They only had a few medium-sized aircraft to fly back and forth to European cities, using the same planes to fly to a different city each day. So far it’s unclear as to how many flights will continue. Armavia had partnerships with KLM and Lufthansa Airlines—connecting flights to Armenia are operated by the airline from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Munich. Thankfully flights from London, Czech Republic, and Austria have not been affected, as their national carriers fly directly to Yerevan from London, Prague, and Vienna, respectively. Air France has also begun direct flights from Paris to Yerevan just a few weeks ago—Aznavour flew into town to introduce the new service.
So it’s hard to say whether tourism will be affected this year to due lack of flights, or whether the European airlines that fly to Yerevan will simply increase their number of flights each week. Armavia has already lost tens of millions of dollars, and I would not be surprised if the company filed bankruptcy by the end of the year.
It’s been a rough week. Approximately 26 corpses have been found and were flown to Yerevan on Friday—some have yet to be identified due to decay. Armenia will be mourning officially until the end of Saturday, then Monday is also considered a holiday day since May 9--Victory Day—falls on a Tuesday this near. Russia has declared national days of mourning as well.