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Turkiye closes airspace to Armenian airline without warning

April 30, 2023 at 12:12 pm

The FlyOne passenger plane departed from Yerevan International Zvartnots Airport for first time in flight from Armenia to Istanbul on February 02, 2022 [Isa Terli/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

Turkiye on Saturday closed its airspace to low-cost Armenian airline FlyOne Armenia without warning, the domestic Armenpress news agency cited the carrier’s board chairman as saying, reports Reuters.

“For reasons incomprehensible to us and without any visible grounds, Turkish aviation authorities cancelled the permission previously granted to the FlyOne Armenia airline to operate flights to Europe through Turkish airspace,” said Aram Ananyan, FlyOne’s chairman.

“Turkish aviation authorities implemented the cancellation without prior notification, putting our airline and our passengers in an uncomfortable situation.”

FlyOne Armenia, a subsidiary of Moldovan airline FlyOne, began operations in December 2021. In February 2023, Ananyan told Armenpress that the carrier had five Airbus aircraft and offered flights to 14 destinations in eight European and Middle Eastern nations.

Ankara has not had diplomatic or commercial ties with Armenia since the 1990s.

The two nations are at odds primarily over the 1.5 million people that Armenia says were killed in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor to modern Turkiye. Armenia says this constitutes genocide, a charge Turkiye denies.

But in February, a border gate between the neighbours was opened for the first time in 35 years to allow aid for victims of the devastating earthquakes in southern Turkiye.

READ: Turkey-Armenia gate opens for first time in decades to allow aid