Jan 5 2015

Ukrainian investment fund acquires 49% stake in Air Armenia

Air Armenia (QN, Yerevan) has sold a 49% stake in its shareholding to
Ukraine's East Prospect Fund (EPF) paving the way for the injection of
fresh capital into the carrier, which suspended scheduled operations
in October last year.

Vladimir Bobylev, the CEO of the Ukrainian turnaround specialist firm,
told Armenia's Arka news agency that EPF's initial investment would
amount to USD30million though this could grow in future.

"I would like our fund to be presented not so much as a new Air
Armenia shareholder but as an investor," he said. "We have
understandings on USD30 million [in investments] for the first phase
of operations but won't confine ourselves to that figure."

Following a period of financial distress, Air Armenia is undergoing
restructuring with a planned relaunch date now scheduled for March
this year. According to Bobylev, EPF plans to refleet the airline with
larger aircraft capable of serving Thailand and China.

For its immediate needs, Air Armenia is looking to reacquire its two
A320-200s, EK-32039 (cn 1439) and EK-32050 (cn 1450), that were
returned to their lessors last year.

Prior to its suspension of operations, Air Armenia had operated an
A319-100 (in VIP configuration for use by the Armenian government),
and a B737-500 on flights covering Russia, Germany, France, and