"Tbilisi to Become the Fourth Transit Hub for Russian Flights to Europe - Co-owner of Vnukovo Airport"
Tbilisi will become a transit hub for Russian flights to Europe
In Tbilisi, where flights from Moscow resumed in May 2023, a fourth transit hub is being established, following Istanbul, Yerevan, and Baku, ‘to enable Russians to fly to Europe,’ said Vitaly Vantsev, co-owner of Vnukovo Airport and Azimuth Airlines, in an interview with Russian media.
“Our partners at Georgian Airways are offering attractive transit options for Russian passengers, opening flights to Europe, such as Paris, Nice, and Rome, which are currently not directly accessible. As a result, Russians will have a fourth excellent transit hub in Tbilisi, following Istanbul, Yerevan, and Baku.
“Together with Georgian Airways, we are working on organizing transit in a way that is maximally comfortable for our passengers, ensuring minimal layover time of about an hour or an hour and a half.”
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On July 6, the media outlet “Echo of the Caucasus” reported that the Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia (Rosaviation) has granted permission for 284 weekly flights between Russia and Georgia. The document has been published on the agency’s website.
According to the Russian government agency TACC, Georgian Airways, the Georgian airline, began transit flights from Moscow through Tbilisi to the French city of Nice starting from July 5. Flights from Tbilisi to Nice will be operated on Wednesdays and Saturdays every week.
On July 1, Ukraine imposed a new package of sanctions, which included Georgian Airways alongside Russian and Belarusian companies. The sanctions against Georgian Airways are imposed for a period of 10 years, involving asset freezes and a complete ban on flights through Ukrainian airspace.
Direct air communication between Georgia and Russia was restored by the decision of Vladimir Putin on May 10.
Despite protests from the Georgian President, civil society, opposition, and Western partners, the Georgian government joined Putin’s initiative. On May 20, the main national carrier, Georgian Airways, made its first flight to Moscow. As a result, President Salome Zurabishvili declared a boycott of Georgian Airways.