On April 18, after a few months of pause, the first flight will be operated by the Hungarian airline Wizzair from Kutaisi International Airport. According to the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the largest low-cost carrier in Eastern Europe will resume regular flights from Kutaisi to Warsaw and Vilnius, and from May - flights to Riga and Dortmund. 13 more destinations in Europe will be added gradually from June.
Wizzair and Flyarystan to perform regular flights from Kutaisi Airport
By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, April 16
Another low-budget airline is entering Georgian air. From May of this year, the Kazakh air carrier Flyarysta will start operating. Aktau, Atyrau, and Nur-Sultan - these are the three new destinations from which regular flights will be operated at the Kutaisi Airport.
“In 2020, which was one of the most difficult years, the Georgian government was able to upgrade two international airports, including Kutaisi’s Davit Agmashenebeli Airport, whose passenger capacity was quadrupled, which is an important basis for launching another low-cost airline in the country,” noted the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Guram Guramishvili.
According to him, the ongoing process in the aviation market also confirms that ‘the recovery of the Georgian economy has begun’, and, even though the dangers of the pandemic have not been eliminated yet, significant positive processes are underway in the aviation sector.
Besides, German low-cost airline Eurowings, which is part of the Lufthansa Group, is considering introducing regular flights in Georgia. The airline has already officially applied to the Civil Aviation Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia for a permit for regular air traffic. From July 21 on of this year, Eurowings will operate Dusseldorf - Tbilisi - Dusseldorf flights. Flights will operate twice a week by Airbus 320 aircraft.
Recall that the global aviation industry has been one of the fastest-growing and most stable sectors for many years despite the pandemic. In the first month of full closure (April 2020), the monthly volume of air travel worldwide decreased from an average of 460 million seats to 150 million. The pandemic has hit the European aviation industry most severely, with the most significant 91% decline caused by stricter restrictions than on other continents.
As Vako Chilashvili, Aviation Business Development Manager of the Georgian Airports Union has stated, the forecast at Georgian airports in 2020 was up to a 15 % increase in passenger traffic. In contrast to global trends, a positive trend was observed in the Georgian aviation market- in 2019, the passenger flow at Georgian airports amounted to 5.2 million, which is similar to the 640% growth of 2010.
According to Chilashvili, in March, 17 airlines operated regularly on the Georgian aviation market, and direct flights were operated in 18 directions.
“27 more directions will be added to the list during the summer season. We have positive expectations; several new airlines will start operating in the Georgian aviation market in the summer. If the epidemiological situation in the world and Georgia allows it, we hope that by the end of 2021, the passenger flow of our airports will be even 40-45 % higher than that in 2019,” Chilashvili said.