STEPANAKERT, Artsakh (ArmRadio)—Yell Extreme Park, in collaboration with the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) Republic government, on May 24 announced the launch of tourist flights from Stepanakert-Shushi. This initiative, as well as the recently launched Artsakh-Armenia flights, has sparked outrage in Azerbaijan, who says it will damage the negotiation process.
Founding Director of Yell Extreme Park Tigran Chibukhchyan says the rage from Baku plays more of a role for advertising.
Flights have been carried out from the Stepanakert Airport since Artsakh’s liberation in 1991. The issue was politicized in 2008, when Artsakh authorities renovated the airport and announced plans to operate passenger flights. The airport also purchased two small planes for domestic flights a few years ago, used for agricultural purposes and tourist flights.
Regular flights have never been launched. However, helicopter flights regularly operate to and from the airport, generally carrying the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairs and high-ranking officials from Armenia.
The company is currently operating eight flights a day, and the demands keep growing, says Samvel Tavadyan, head of Aviation Department of the Artsakh Ministry of Economy. The flight duration is 25 minutes and costs 35,000 AMD per person.