Transit flights will be launched through Tbilisi to Europe. This is reported by RTVI with reference to the founder of Georgian Airways Tamaz Gaiashvili.
Flights are planned from June 15 to Milan, Paris, Vienna, Cypriot Larnaca and Greek Thessaloniki.
“Let’s see how this thing goes. But we think that there will be sufficient demand on these routes. It will be more convenient and faster through Tbilisi than in other directions,” Gaiashvili told reporters.
In his opinion, passenger traffic between Russia and Georgia should recover over time. He also expressed the hope that the message will not be interrupted in the future.
“Naturally, we will maintain air communication with Russia. Nothing will happen to this. The government of Georgia welcomed this decision very warmly. God grant that it will never be interrupted again,” said the Georgian businessman.
According to Aviasales, Georgian Georgian Airways has opened the sale of tickets from Moscow to Paris and Vienna with a transfer in Tbilisi:
Flights from Moscow to Vienna will be operated on Thursdays and Sundays, the ticket price will start from 50.4 thousand rubles one way. Planes will fly from Moscow to Paris on Fridays and Tuesdays, a ticket will cost from 68,000 rubles one way.
The ban on flights to Georgia has been in force in Russia since 2019, and was lifted on May 15, 2023. At the same time, by decree of the President of the Russian Federation, the visa regime for Georgian citizens was abolished. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili then announced a boycott of Georgian Airways – the company decided to resume flights to Moscow. In turn, Tamaz Gaiashvili said that Georgian Airways would no longer let the Georgian president on board their planes.
“There will be no more flying with us [Salome Zurabishvili]. The company has made such a decision, and it will continue to do so,” he said.
Now the demand for tickets to Georgia is growing moderately, Gaiashvili added. “I think it will take time, advertising, so that people know that this exists, and then, I think that passengers will go,” he said.
According to the entrepreneur, passenger traffic should start to grow, as people will start flying to Tbilisi directly, and not with a transfer. “Everyone is slowly switching to direct flights,” Gaiashvili summed up.
The US Department of State expressed concern about the restoration of direct flights between Russia and Georgia and threatened that Georgian companies could be subject to sanctions. The agency claims that “now is not the time to build up relations with Russia” and many Western countries, including the United States, prohibit Russian aircraft from entering their airspace.
“We are concerned about the restoration of direct flights between Russia and Georgia. This may mean that Georgian airport companies may be under the threat of sanctions, ”said a representative of the US State Department.
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced a boycott of Georgian Airways due to the fact that it resumed direct flights to Moscow. According to the head of state, the carrier is trying to get rich at the expense of the state. According to Zurabishvili, the airline is “ready to do anything for money”, which is confirmed by the “joyful statements” of its management about the resumption of communication with the Russian Federation.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, commenting on the calls of the president and protesters to stop air traffic with Russia, suggested that the oppositionists want to “deteriorate the situation of people, not think about the economy and trade.” According to Garibashvili, the current government in its decisions, including the resumption of flights to the Russian Federation, is guided by national interests.