YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenian Airlines has decided to acquire an A310 on an operating lease with an option to purchase which–when delivered this summer–will become the first Western-built aircraft to join the carrier’s fleet.
The move is an important step in Armenian Airlines’ modernization and expansion program–which plans to grow its Airbus Industry fleet to ten aircraft by the year 2005. The A310–which offers true widebody comfort and efficient containerized cargo capability–is the world’s most profitable 200-seat aircraft.
Powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4 engines–Armenian Airlines’ A310 will seat 194 passengers in a two-class configuration. The Yerevan-based carrier plans to operate the A310 on its network to Europe and the CIS.
"The selection of the A310 was based on pure economic–passenger comfort and aircraft reliability criteria. The greater productivity of the A310 will enable us to replace three or four of our current aircraft–with fuel savings of up to 35 percent,". said Armenian Airlines Managing Director Tigran Achoyan.
"We are very pleased that Armenian Airlines will soon become a new Airbus operator–and proud that–once again–the A310 has been chosen by a CIS carrier as the first Western-built aircraft to join its fleet," said Charles Champion–Vice President of Sales–Europe & CIS.
The A310 is part of a joint product line with the A310 series. Together–the aircraft represents the world’s best selling family of twin-engine widebody airlines–with some 700 in service with 90 airlines worldwide–including 12 A310s in the CIS. By the end of 1998–the A310 fleet in the CIS is set to grow to some 20 aircraft. To date–more than 1,700 Airbus Industry aircraft have been delivered while the number of operators is well over 140.