YEREVAN — Armenia's last national airline, Armavia, on Monday ceased operations and launched bankruptcy procedures due to grave financial problems, the company said.

"Over the last three years, the owner of Armavia airline has been investing finances from (his) other businesses in order to support the air carrier," Armavia said in a statement.

"However, the current situation makes it impossible to continue working this way."

Founded in 1996 by Armenian businessman Mikhail Bagdasarov, Armavia owns one Airbus A320, three Boeing 737, and four medium-range planes.

The company linked its inability to pay debts to the consequences of the world economic crisis that has hit the aviation industry hard and has caused the bankruptcy or liquidation of several major carriers such as American Airlines and Russia's Kuban.

Russia's aviation authority Rosaviatsiya said that Armavia owed more than $1.3 million to airports and more than $250,000 to air traffic services in Russia.

Armavia served 48 destinations in Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

Armenia, an ex-Soviet republic, is a landlocked country with neighbors that include traditional foes Turkey and Azerbaijan

With air links critical to maintaining international contacts, it is unclear what will fill the void left by Armavia's collapse.

The company's bankruptcy leaves Armenia without a national air carrier, since the other state-owned carrier, Armenian Airlines, went bankrupt in 2003.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013