First commercial helicopter operator appears in Armenia

Armenian Helicopters Armenian Helicopters’ ambitions include building a specialist helicopter centre in Armenia (Armenian Helicopters)

Armenian Helicopters, a Yerevan-based start-up, has obtained its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the country’s Civil Aviation Department, becoming Armenia’s first commercial helicopter operator. The company is expected to play a significant part in the revitalisation of general aviation and further foster tourism in the country.

Armenian Helicopters’ commercial director Aram Abovyan tells Russian Aviation Insider that the company was founded in 2017, initially with a Robinson R66 single-engine helicopter with Russian registration RA-05788. The government of Armenia supported the project by providing tax advantages for aircraft imports, thus enabling the operator to consider the purchase of an Airbus H130 in the near future.

The start-up operator will offer tourist, sightseeing and business charters within Armenia, as well as cross-border operations to neighbouring Russia, Georgia, Turkey and other countries. It also plans to provide sales, maintenance, management and crew training services for western-built helicopters.

Armenian Helicopters intends to invest up to US$10 million within the next three years, with part of that amount designated for fleet expansion. By the end of 2018 the operator plans to add two more rotorcraft, Abovyan says. The type will depend on the results of initial operations. Further ambitions include building a specialist helicopter centre in Armenia.

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