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The News in Brief

Tuesday, September 27
Former PM says Georgian President was never aware of his own rights

“Margvelashvili was not aware of his own rights initially. Unfortunately he is still not aware of them now,” former PM of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili said when meeting with regional media.

One of the journalists asked at the meeting why a hospital in Tetritskaro was closed down in 2013. The journalist also said that Margvelashvili promised the population to resolve the problem but no steps have been taken.

“As for the president’s promises, initially he was not aware of his own rights. Unfortunately, he is still not aware of them now. Healthcare is not his field. This is the government’s business,” Ivanishvili remarked.

Wizz Air Opens Base in Kutaisi, Launches 7 New Routes

Low-cost airline operator Wizz Air announced on September 23 its opening of a base at Kutaisi airport and adding seven new routes, now offering total of 11 low-fare routes to eight countries from Kutaisi.

The airline has based one of its new Airbus A320 aircraft at David the Builder International Airport in Kutaisi.

New destinations from Kutaisi include Berlin, Dortmund and Memmingen (about 100km from Munich) in Germany; Larnaca in Cyprus; Milan in Italy; Sofia in Bulgaria, and Thessaloniki in Greece.

Wizz Air said that the base's establishment is the result of an investment worth USD 98 million (the cost of an A320 aircraft) by the airline operator in Kutaisi, creating 36 direct jobs with the airline.

Wizz Air, which launched flights to and from Kutaisi in 2012, was operating four routes (Budapest, Katowice, Vilnius and Warsaw) before adding new destinations.

“We put Kutaisi on the map of aviation in 2012 and since then we have carried over 600,000 passengers on our low fare routes, stimulating the local tourism and aviation industries and strengthening business relations between Georgia and the rest of Europe,” Owain Jones, Chief Corporate Officer of Wizz Air, said.

Tbilisi-Beijing flights launched by China’s Southern Airlines

Beijing-Urumqi-Tbilisi flights have been scheduled from Friday, according to Georgia’s National Tourism Administration.

China’s Southern Airlines, China’s largest flight companies, will carry out the flights two times in every week.

Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in North West of China.

So far no further details are known about the flights. The Ministry of Economy of Georgia recently hosted journalists and tour operators from China in Tbilisi and tourist destinations such as Batumi, Mestia, Kutaisi, and Kvareli.

Urumqi-Tbilisi flights were launched back in 2011. Flights have been carried out every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday since then via Boing 737 and Boing 757.

United National Movement has a plan for destabilization – Georgian Dream Secretary

“The United National Movement has a particular destabilization plan but they have no resources to dedicate to it,” Georgian Dream's Executive Secretary, Irakli Kobakhidze, says.

Kobakhdze has assessed the United National Movement as a “feeble political force”, adding that the government is able to prevent all their planned provocations and destabilization.

However, according to him, there are some people inside the party that are against the “criminal plan”.

Irakli Kobakhidze says UNM activists no longer have any motivation, and statements about Mikheil Saakashvili’s return to Georgia are only made to raise morale.

Caucasus conflicts, myths and realities, seen by an American journalist

The U.S. Embassy and the Writer’s House is proud to present a public lecture by writer and war correspondent Thomas Goltz. Thomas will talk about his experiences covering the Chechnyan war in 1995, and discuss how other regional conflicts impact Georgia. He will also discuss his recent experiences visiting religious and ethnic minorities in Georgia.
(US Embassy)