Interview with Krikor Hovsepian, President of "Jet Line Air Cargo"

By Nane Avagyan

"Each and every Armenian ought to help the Armenian community and the Armenians as much as possible"

Jet Line Air Cargo has been transporting cargo safely, securely and efficiently from the United States to Armenia and back for a number of years. Thanks to the company's founder Krikor Hovsepian, the Armenian-American community has been reliably linked to the Motherland for over three decades. Born in Romania, Hovsepian moved with his family to the United States in 1961 and several years later got involved in the transport sector. In 1982, Hovsepian set up his own company, Jet Line Air Cargo Inc, for local and international cargo shipments. "Our company carries out a large volume of air freight shipments. In many cities in the US, there are retail collection centers for various commodities, which then send on the collected cargos to our company based in Inglewood, CA. We ship the freights by airplane to various countries, mainly to Armenia, China and Europe. Consignments are also shipped from these countries to the USA,"explains Krikor Hovsepian. Jet Line Air Cargo also organizes customs clearance services. "A number of changes have taken place in the legal framework in Armenia, as a result of which, for example, it is now possible to send a parcel with a value of up to 400 USD every 6 months and these packages no longer need to undergo customs clearance." According to Krikor Hovsepian, this eases the burden of those who regularly send parcels from America to Armenia as assistance. The president of Jet Line Air CargoInc notes that the quantity of consignments to the Motherland greatly exceeds the number of shipments bound for America from Armenia, which lately is largely made up of books.

In the course of its long existence, Jet Line Air Cargo has earned the reputation of a reliable and enduring partner for many companies. "The key to success lies in loving what you do and do it right," admits Krikor Hovsepian in a bout of sincerity. He brought his acute sense of responsibility and love to bear on his commitment to establishing ties with Armenia back in the 80s: the company was the first to ship freights from the United States and to this day is the only company that has an office in Yerevan. In the years spanning Armenia's independence, the 1988 earthquake and the Artsakh war, Krikor Hovsepian found ways and means to transport large quantities of humanitarian aid through his company and support the Motherland at a time of hardship. "Each Armenian ought to contribute as much as possible to the wellbeing of our community and the Armenians," has been Hovsepian's motto for life, who has also rendered assistance to the community through RAFFI, a compatriotic and cultural association of Romanian-Armenians. Krikor Hovsepian has greatly contributed to the patriotic activities of this organization and is currently the Vice-President of the Association. "This year the Romanian-Armenian Association will be celebrating the 50th anniversary since its foundation, a milestone that we plan to mark with full splendor. The festive anniversary event will be attended by Romanian-Armenians from various countries around the world," Hovsepian reveals. This Romanian-Armenian Association established in Los Angeles in 1963 is faithful to the ideological principles of its kindred organization founded in Bucharest in 1920s, i.e. "to make sure that an Armenian stays an Armenian despite the challenging conditions of Diasporan life, that he lives his life and fulfills his creative potential as an Armenian, is always ready to rise up to the challenge of preserving the Armenian identity." It was the inspiration of this slogan that five decades ago motivated the Romanian-Armenian Association to make a significant contribution to the establishment of a network of Armenian schools in America, including the Ferrahian High School and the Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School. The Association members then proceeded to establishing various sports and culture centers and contributed to the establishment of St. Garabed Church. Since 2000, the headquarters of the Romanian-Armenian Association based in the center of Hollywood has served as a venue for community life activities, where members meet for communal, educational, cultural and other traditional activities, such as parties for the elderly, children's and youth recitals. Krikor Hovsepian is one of those enthusiasts who through his tireless work in support of the Association's work also contribute both to the Motherland's prosperity and to strengthening of the Armenian community in Romania and the United States. "The first and main period of formation of our future generation starts in the family and it is very important to ensure an Armenian education and upbringing. The Armenian organizations build on this foundation, "remarks Krikor Hovsepian, whose personal example confirms the veracity of his words.