Friday, December 19, 2008

Open Skies agreements

Over the past couple of weeks, Armenia signed two agreements related to air transportation with the EU and the US that could set the stage for a revolution in this mode of transportation. In particular, the agreement with the US (see here for official text), has the potential for improving the logistics of shipping and travel between Yerevan and Los Angeles, the city with the largest population of Armenians second to Yerevan. In all likelihood this will connect to New York on the east coast of the US, facilitating travel from cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington among others.

In the week of September 3-9, there were 62 Yerevan-Moscow flights, and another 34 flights to cities in Europe (see here for earlier and much more detailed flights patterns, and here for an earlier post). It should be clear that many of these flights do not carry their passengers to their ultimate destinations, but such statistics do not exist. Obviously, many of the travelers from the US, Canada, and Latin America, connect through these cities on their way to Yerevan. This also applies to much of the cargo, both trade and humanitarian aid related.

These agreements may go a long way in improving transport logistics to and from Yerevan. Much credit should go to the young minister of the economy who has contributed considerably during his short tenure of slightly over a year. But the nagging question remains of why it has taken so long to get the country to this point.

Do we know of any relevant research in the area of transportation?


R said...

Does not Moscow have a larger Armenian community than L.A.?

Why do so many flights to Yerevan from the West arrive in the middle of the night?

David said...

I am not sure whether Moscow has a greater permamnent population. I think Russia's population is greater than the US. But California remains a magnet for Armenians from around the world!

As for why flights arrive late, I presume it is pricing and logistics. But there could be other administrative reasons at play.