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History of the airline

The birthday of Belavia Belarusian Airlines is considered to be March 5, 1996. However, as it was formed on the base of the Belarusian Association of Civil Aviation the history of the Airline began in 1993. At that the Belarusian civil aviation was originated in November 1933 when the inauguration of the Minsk air terminal took place and when the first three PO-2, that had been belonged to the Smolensk air department of special application of the Moscow civil air fleet administration, landed at the airport. Just that very moment became a decisive in formation and development of civil aviation of the Republic of Belarus.

In 1936 the first regular mail and passenger flight between Minsk and Moscow was opened, and by 1940 the were eight postal- passengers flights.

Starting from 1961 till 1983 the Belarusian Administration of Civil Aviation actively adopted the policy of the fleet renewal. During these years the turbo- prop aircraft AN- 10, jet passenger aircraft TU- 124 were acquired, also the operation of TU- 134 began. In August 1983 the first one TU- 154 passed to the ownership of the Minsk aviation technical base.

After the USSR collapse and after achieving the independence of the Republic of Belarus in 1991 the Belarusian Association of Civil Aviation “Belavia” was formed and inherited the aircraft fleet of the Belarusian Administration. All enterprises of civil aviation of the Republic of Belarus entered into the structure of this integration.

On March 5, 1996 the Belarusian Association of Civil Aviation was reconstructed that resulted in creation of Belavia.

During 1995- 1997 the international flights to Larnaca, London, Beijing, Rome and Istanbul were started to operate.

On August 12, 1997 Belavia became a full member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The expansion of the flights geography continued in 1998 as well. At this time the new route Minsk- Prague- Minsk was opened. In this year the merger of the two air carriers Belavia and Minskavia took place. And as a result AN-24, AN-26 and YAK-40 were acquired by the airline.

The next year (1999) the first agreement of joint operation (code- share agreement) on the route Minsk- Warsaw- Minsk with Lot- Polish Airlines was signed, that initiated the active cooperation with foreign partners on the modern level.

On May 18, 2001 the new air service between Minsk and Paris was opened.

The year 2003 was marked as the successful year in the activity of the airline. In this period Belavia started to operate flights to Kaliningrad, in October , 2003 the first aircraft of foreign manufacturer Boeing 737-500 taken by the airline in the operational leasing arrived at the airport Minsk.

In February, 2004 Belavia became the holder of the bronze medal in the National contest “Brand of the year 2003” in the nomination “Brand Pro”. Introduction into the operation the second Boeing 737-500 and signing of code-share agreement between Belavia and Aeroflot of performance the flights Minsk-Moscow-Minsk also became the significant events in 2004.

Cooperation of Belavia and CSA – Czech Airlines resulted in 2005 in the opening of the air route Minsk-Prague- Minsk in accordance with the signed code-share agreement.

The year 2007 was reach on events: in February the first regional aircraft CRJ-100 LR by the Canadian manufacturer Bombardier was supplied. The operation of the regular flight on the route Minsk-Baku-Minsk commenced. For the purpose of strengthening its positions on the market Belavia began implementation of e-ticket technologies (Electronic ticket). Belavia e-ticket sales became available trough its agents in Austria, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Ukraine, Cyprus, Czech Republic and other European countries in July, 2007. Also, in this year the passengers obtained the possibility to fly on the route Minsk-St.Petersburg-Minsk.

The year 2008 was marked as the year of active cooperation with foreign partners. The signed electronic interline agreements with the number of foreign airlines widened flight possibilities.

Direct air communication between Minsk and Milan, established in June, 2008 was one more step for further widening of the route network. Opening of the second Belavia representative office in Italy was one more measure taken for satisfaction of the constantly growing demand for air transportation between Belarus and Italy.

Within the framework of the Government Program for the development of civil aviation Belavia acquired in 2008 in the operational leasing 2 Boeings 737-500 and 1 Boeing 737-300 from the International Lease Finance Corporation.

Modernization of Belavia air fleet with the aircraft meeting all international safety requirements and characterized by big capacity and high level of comfort was made with the purpose of its operation on the most loaded regular and charter flights.

In July, 2008 the delegation of IATA visited Minsk. IATA is the biggest world non- government organization of the airline, founded for the purpose of safety and economic development inducement of the air transport. Such issues as participation of the Republic of Belarus in the international systems, worked out by IATA, advancement of new technologies of fast and qualitative passengers service, the process of introducing the e-ticket technology.

One more important event at the end of the year 2008 was Belavia’s entering into the IATA register as the airline, meeting all operating safety standards (IOSA). The availability of the IOSA certificate confirms the use of the advanced standards by the airline in the sphere of flights safety management, defines the international status of the safe air carrier, gives the potential for the expansion of the international cooperation with the leading world airlines, simplifies the entry on the markets.

Entering of Belavia into the mutual settlement system BSP IATA in Kazakhstan confirms about the successful beginning of the year. It helps to carry out ticket sales by the airline agents accredited by IATA.

During the first half of the year 2009 Belavia acquired in leasing and introduced into the operation 4 aircraft of Western manufacturers: 2 Boeing 737/300 and 2 CRJ- 200. AN-24 was removed from the air fleet of the airline as a type.

In August of that year the national airline company “Belavia” starts the new regular Minsk-Amsterdam-Minsk flight.

November 11th, 2009 is a significant date in the history of the company “Belavia” as it was the day when a ticket of the company was bought on “Belavia” site through the Internet for the first time. It was the economy class ticket for Minsk-Moscow-Minsk flight.

ВAt the same month the company became a prize-winner of the First National Prize in the field of marketing “The Energy of Success” in the nomination “The best communications built with BTL”.

Starting from December 4th “Belavia” opens up the sale of e-tickets for the flights of the Dutch national airline carrier “KLM Royal Dutch Airlines”. Thereby “Belavia” passengers acquired an additional opportunity to travel to all the countries of the EU, Northern and Southern America through Amsterdam.

Since the end of the year 2009 a new monthly board magazine “Belavia ON AIR” started to be distributed on the aircrafts of the company.

The beginning of the next year was marked by the opening of the new flight Minsk – Riga.

On April 7th another aircraft Boeing737/500, manufactured in the USA, landed in the national airport “Minsk”, bought by “Belavia” in operational leasing. Thus, the aircraft fleet of the company counts six air jets of that type.

On May 17th and the biggest French airline carrier “Air France” introduced the e-ticket interline-agreement that authorized both the partners to register on-line air transportation documents on all regular flights of each other.

The joining to the European Regions Airline Association (ERAA) in July was a pleasant and important event for the national airline carrier “Belavia”.

The national airline company “Belavia” signed a bilateral interline-agreement (and soon an e-ticket interline-agreement) with the American airline company “Delta” for the dynamic development of the partnership. The airline company “Tatarstan” became another partner, with whom an interline-agreement was signed.

The airline company “Belavia” opened a new direction in the flight geography to develop its air route map: On September 15th, 2010 the first flight from the national airport “Minsk” to Batumi, the oldest Georgian resort city, was made.

A month later an opportunity to buy e-tickets for the flight to Istanbul was opened for the customers of “Belavia”.

In accordance with the state program of development of civil aviation, “Belavia” acquired another aircraft – CRJ-200LR from the Canadian manufacturer “Bombardier” in operational leasing. On the 26th of October it landed in the national airport “Minsk” arriving from Danish city Sonderborg.

The year 2010 was for the company “Belavia” really rich in events. Before the New Year the national airline carrier “Belavia” starts another regular flight. That time it was the flight Minsk – Ashkhabad – Minsk. Starting from December 14th the flights to the capital of Turkmenistan are made once a week.

In 2011, new regular routes were opened to Helsinki, Simferopol, Karaganda, and flights to Astana and Hannover became all-year-round ones. Flights to Kaliningrad are performed not only from Minsk but from the regional centers Brest, Gomel, Grodno as well.

Belavia concluded an interline agreement with the Belgian Accessrail. Combined air and railway tickets allow passengers transfer at the airport to trains, going to points where air service is unavailable.

"3D-fleet" project was implemented on the Belavia’s website; now, thanks to it, you can make a virtual excursion on the aircrafts operated by the airline on regular and charter routes.

In 2011, for the first time, the Belavia’s passenger flow exceeded one million passengers. The millionth passenger was checked in December on the flight Minsk-Berlin.

In 2012, the Belavia’s route chart was supplemented with two new routes: Novosibirsk and Barcelona.

In September 2012, for the first time in its history, the airline took two new aircrafts Embraer 175 on operative lease from the manufacturing plant in Brazil.

In addition, in 2012, an option to register to Belavia online was offered to passengers.

In 2013, 6 new routes were opened. In spring, flights were started to the seventh in succession destination point in Russia - Samara. Besides, at the end of May, flights to the third city of Georgia – Kutaisi - started.

At the end of May, a codeshare agreement was signed with the national airlines of the United Arab Emirates - Etihad Airways. Belavia is a marketing carrier on flights to Abu-Dhabi, Ho Chi Minh, Sidney, and Melbourne operated by Etihad Airways.

In June 2013, the airline’s fleet was supplemented with one more Boeing 737-300.

On September 19, the airline opened the first flight that connected not only Budapest, Belgrade and Minsk but the capitals of Hungary and Serbia between themselves as well.

In 2013 6 new directions were opened. In spring a flight was opened to the seven in succession destinations in Russia – to Samara. Besides, in late May flights were started to the third town in Georgia – Kutaisi.

The National Airline Company “Belavia” became an official party to the Multilateral Interline Traffic Agreement (MITA) under the aegis of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on the 18th of April.

A Code-share Agreement was signed with the National Airline Company of the United Arab Emirates EtihadAirways in late May. “Belavia” is a marketing carrier on the flights to Abu Dhabi, Ho Chi Minh, Sidney, Melbourne, which are operated by EtihadAirways.

Another Boeing 737-300 jointed to the fleet of the airline company in June 2013.

The airline company opened the first flight that connected not only Budapest, Belgrade and Minsk, but the capitals of Hungary and Serbia together on the 19th of September.

“Belavia” entered into the register of customs carriers in late November 2013. The airline company obtained the right to transport cargo of its customs within the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan as well as to carry out customs clearance of import directly in a destination point.

A new flight on the route Minsk-Geneva- Minsk was opened on the 17th of December, and the first regular flight to Vilnius was performed on the 19th of December.

Another Boeing 737-300 of the Airline Company “Belavia” touched down in the National Airport Minsk on the 3d of January.

The “National Airline Company “Belavia” RUE (Republican Unitary Enterprise) was reorganized into the “National Airline Company “Belavia” JSC (Joint Stock Company) on the 29th of January.