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Sunday, December 17, 2017
Giumri Airport

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Giumri Airport
From Shirak Airport in Giumri
TourArmenia -
Updated 2017

Airport Layout

Flights to and from the CIS also originate at Shirak Airport in Giumri located 8 kilometers from Central Square, off the Yerevan Highway. Drive 6.5 kilometers from Central Square in the direction of Yerevan, turn left. The terminal is 1.7 kilometers from the turn-off (B: # 58, Taxi: $5 equivalent in AMD or RR). There are no road signs marking the turn off.

Shirak Terminal has an interesting design, looking from the distance like the wings of a dragon in a Calder mobile. The terminal is two-storied, but it is small enough to cover in less than 10 minutes. The airport doubled as a decoy by the KGB to entrap escaping Soviet citizens. The layout of the airport was made to look like regional airports in Turkey, and apparently whenever someone tried to force a plane out of the USSR, they hauled out Turkish signs, banners and flags to dupe the unwitting escapees. The newer (but less used) highway to Yerevan that skirts the Turkish border was paved to double as a landing strip in the event a high-jacked plane tried to make it into Turkish (NATO) territory. Considering the horrendous state of the highway "landing-strip", the airport itself is in remarkable shape. The airport is open 24 hours, but with so few flights, all conveniences are locked up over night. There are no waiting area seats. Not a good place to crash overnight.

Giumri houses a large battalion of Russian soldiers guarding the border with Turkey. As a result, the influx of Russian money is as prominent as dollars in the economy. All signs in the airport and throughout the city are Russian and Armenian, and the Russian Ruble (RR) is accepted along with dollars. Drams have just recently begun to be accepted in day-to-day transactions. People still quote prices in rubles, which can confuse you, since they do not say which currency, just the price. The Ruble is (at the time of writing) trading at about RR 5560 (soon to be 5.5) per $1. So, don't panic if you hear someone say a taxi ride costs "5,000". That's rubles.

Ticket Booking/Check in: The ticket office (Tomsarkegh) is located in front of the entry doors. To the left of the ticket office is the information office (Armenian Ժβ, ջϳ "tehgh-eh-kah-TOO"; Russian : cprah-VOHCH-nay-ah), where you can get information concerning flights.Check-in (The most commonly used word is Russian: (ri-gi-STRAHT-si-uh) the Armenian is Ժܺ в:  oo-ghe-vor-nehr-REE hash-var-OOM) is located past the small kiosk by the information office, on your left. Registration begins one to two hours before flight time.

Shirak Airport Services

Main Floor: Left of registration is a bar, which serves alcoholic drinks. It was closed when we were there. To the right of the ticket office is a change office/kiosk (rate: 410 AMD/$ here, 417 AMD/$ in the city), baggage claim, and airport police. To the right of the police office are restrooms. To the right of them is a kiosk selling papers, candy and cigarettes. Left of the entry doors is another exchange office (rates just as bad) and a kiosk selling what we could only call "plastic things."

Upper Floor: A large balcony that rings the main floor, with floor to ceiling windows that allow excellent views of the runway and airplanes on one side, and the landscape stretching to Turkey on the other side, houses the airport buffet (seating area, eggs. Sausages, chicken, salads; about 3X more expensive than in Giumri city) on one side of the terminal, and a mother and child station and apothecary on the other side. Opposite the mother station is a small amusement kiosk, with video games dating from the Soviet Era. Test your latent power of deciphering soviet entertainment here.

Note: There is no left luggage, and no public phones at the airport. If you need to make a call, ask at the information office or police station. They aren't all that helpful (public job attitude), but they can be coaxed into helping.

Armenian Airlines:
вββ Ʋܺ ("hai-ka-KAN ah-vi-a-oo-ghee-NEHR")
 

     

FROM GIUMRI
       

DEP.

ARR.

FLIGHT

CITY

FLIGHT

DEP.

ARR.

DAYS

19.25

19.50

R3 919D

YEREVAN

R3920D 

09.00

09.30

6
     

YEREVAN

R3949D 

07.20

08.00

4

17.45

18.25

R3 950D

YEREVAN 
     

5

09.00

10.30

R3 949

KRASNODAR

R3 950

12.15

15.25

4

11.00

12.50

R3 920

MOSCOW

R3 919

14.55

18.25

6

09.10

10.45

R3 951

ROSTOV

R3 952

13.20

16.45

5
1-Mon. 2-Tues. 3-Wed. 4-Thurs. 5-Fri. 6-Sat. 7-Sun.


Ticket Prices

There are two level of pricing air tickets in Armenia, one for Armenian and CIS member state Citizens, and one for "Others" (foreigners). The prices quoted are the higher, foreign rate. Prices quoted are at the time of writing only and fluctuate. Tickets available at a local travel agent, or at Erebuni Airport ticket booth.
 

Destination

Agent

(O/W approx $)

Yerevan

AAL

$50

Krasnodar

AAL

$150

Moscow

AAL

$200

Rostov

AAL

$195

Samara

AAL

$150
 




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