- Doing Business in Armenia
Transport remains one of the main issues for export of merchandise to Armenia. Actually, owing to the closing of the border with Azerbaijan and surface border with Turkey, certain roads are closed and the transportation costs are high. Thus, 85% of merchandise has to transit through Georgia and the remainder - through Iran; meanwhile the air borders exist only via Turkey. Nevertheless, if the transportation costs to Armenia remain high, the exportation costs from Armenia per cargo weight and destinations are less costly.
Air transport infrastructure
Civil aviation infrastructure consists of two international airports: “Zvartnots” and “Gyumri”, and nine local (non-military) airports.
The following carriers are serving Armenia: Aeroflot – Russian Airlines (Russia), S7 (Russia), Austrian Airlines (Austria), Czech Airlines (Czech Republic), Armavia (Armenia), Air France (France), LOT Polish Airlines (Poland), Flydubai (UAE), Air Baltic (Latvia), Air Italy (Italy), etc.
There is only one company – Air Armenia, possessing cargo airplanes and operating cargo flights from Armenia to the rest of the world. This company operates regular flights twice a week from Yerevan to Frankfurt (Hahn) and from Frankfurt to any other destination. Yerevan-Frankfurt flights are operated on Sundays and Wednesdays and flights from Frankfurt to Yerevan are operated on Mondays and Thursdays. Any corporation having more than 10 tons of cargo for transportation may apply to Air Armenia to deliver its merchandise directly to the airport of destination, without transiting Frankfurt. It is equally possible to charter the entire airplane for round trip from Yerevan to any desired destination. Depending on the weight of the merchandise, the cost of cargo transportation from Armenia starts from 1,2 EUR, from Europe – 2,85 EUR and from the USA – 4 USD per kilogram.
The maximum weight of cargo accepted by Air Armenia per flight is 17 tons, the minimum - 1 kilogram.
Transportation by rail, road and sea
The total length of railroads is 725 km. The railway has 69 operating stations.
The Armenian road network (7, 744.6 km), despite certain obsolescence, serves the whole country. It operates all the year round.
The main roads are:
- Yerevan-Ashtarak - Spitak - Tashir - Tbilisi or Yerevan - Ashtarak, Spitak - Vanadzor - Bagratashen - Tbilisi that connect Armenia with Georgia;
- Yerevan - Ashtarak - Gyumri - Ashotsk - Bogdanovka that connects Armenia with the Georgian ports Batumi and Poti. The average length of the road is approximately 700 km (four days);
Yerevan - Yeraskh - Vayk - Goris - Kapan - Meghri, that allows reaching the western border of Iran. This road is not
- anymore feasible on the section crossing Nakhitchevan. Up to Goris there is an avoiding line by another principal route.
The port of Poti is well equipped for the transportation of containers. The port of Batumi is used for transportation of oil products. It can take 10 days by rail (theoretically 12-24 hours, but practically a train transporting containers with commodities leaves Yerevan only when it is fully loaded; and the formalities at the border can take 48 hours) to get to these ports (distance: 700km), and four days by truck. Several storage sites and customs warehouses are located alongside this line. The most important ones are located in Yerevan.
A ferry service was established between the ports of Poti and Varna (Bulgaria). It allows transporting approximately 40 loaded trucks in two directions and facilitates the transportation to European destinations and back. Another one connects Poti with port of Caucasus (Russia, Krasnodar region), and the program on establishing the connection between ports of Poti and Ilichevsk, Ukraine is at the development stage.
Road transportation remains the best means of cargo transportation both from the Armenian borders into the country and to the ports of Georgia or Iran. The transportation corporations assume all transportation expenses and for the maritime transportation they cooperate with such companies as Maersk Sealand or MSC, and for the cargo transportations inside the country - with national carriers.