June 9, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sarine Boyadian
tel: (818) 500-1918

California Senate Select Committee Voices Support for LAX-Yerevan Direct Flights

Sacramento, CA. – On June 6, 2017, California State Senator Anthony Portantino submitted a letter to Deborah Flint, Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) supporting direct LAX-Yerevan (EVN) Flights on behalf of the Senate Select Committee on California – Armenia and Artsakh Mutual Trade, Art and Cultural Exchange. The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) and LAWA have been recently engaging in promising dialogue regarding the establishment of direct flights between the two cities.

“We welcome Senator Portantino’s pro-active leadership and thank all of those who joined in this bipartisan expression of support for the ANCA’s dialogue with LAWA about establishing direct LAX to Yerevan flights” stated Nora Hovsepian, ANCA-WR Chair. “These direct flights will promote tourism, business travel, commerce, and cargo traffic – strengthening the U.S.-Armenia bilateral economic relationship, while also reinforcing the connection between our homeland and Southern California – a central pillar of the global Armenian Diaspora.” added Hovsepian.

In the letter of support, Portantino wrote “The Senate Select Committee on California, Armenia and Artsakh Mutual Trade, Art and Cultural Exchange was formed by the State Senate in March of 2017 with the mission of expanding business opportunities through trade, economic development, cultural awareness and education between the State of California, Armenia and Artsakh.” Noting the significance of a direct LAX-EVN flight, Senator Portantino continued, “As you know, the State of California has the largest population of Armenian Americans in the country. Southern California, which is served by LAX, is home to over 500,000 Armenian Americans – many of whom travel to and from Armenia on a regular basis. I believe that establishing a direct flight between LAX and Yerevan will further strengthen the growing tourism and business ties between Southern California and Armenia and Artsakh.” The letter was co-signed by members of the Select Committee on Artsakh – Senator Kevin De Leon, Senator Tony Mendoza, Senator Josh Newman, and Senator Scott Wilk. The Select Committee, which aims to create an opportunity to augment national efforts to expand trade and commerce between the US and Armenia and Artsakh, is chaired by Senator Portantino.

Earlier last month, the ANCA met with LAWA officials about launching direct flights between the United States and Armenia. The discussions with LAWA Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint and Deputy Executive Director and Chief of External Affairs Trevor Daley provided an opportunity for a positive and constructive exchange of views about the practical steps needed to establish direct flights between LAX and Zvartnots Airport (EVN) in Yerevan.

The ANCA is calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to support a public-private partnership regarding establishing U.S. to Armenia flights, involving U.S. airlines and relevant government agencies, among them the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and Transportation Security Administration. The direct flights would include both passenger and cargo traffic.

The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices and supporters around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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