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Turkmenistan Airlines postpones direct flights to Georgia

4 Nov 2016 - 14:08:00

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Agenda.ge,4 Nov 2016 - 14:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia and Turkmenistan were about to make history by launching direct flights linking the two capitals, however the deal is postponed for an "uncertain time”.

Turkmenistan expected to launch the new flights from September 17, however this was postponed until November 2 before a decision was made to cancel the flights for this winter season.

The flag carrier of Turkmenistan intended to perform regular flights on the route Ashgabat-Tbilisi-Ashgabat twice a week on a Boeing 737-757 aircraft.

A spokesperson from the Georgian Civil Aviation Agency told Agenda.ge that Turkmenistan Airlines refused to launch flights during the winter season because of "commercial purposes”.

There was doubt surrounding the demand on the Ashgabat-Tbilisi-Ashgabat route and the airline believed this was low during the winter period and it would not be able to sell enough tickets to be commercially viable.

The Georgian Civil Aviation Agency was not aware when Turkmenistan Airlines planned to launch direct flights to Georgia however the Agency was optimistic about future cooperation.

Launching direct flights with Turkmenistan was in Georgia’s best interest and for this purpose a delegation from Georgia visited Ashgabat in July to start negotiations with local aviation authorities.

The talks ended successfully and the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which guaranteed launching regular direct flights between Tbilisi and Ashgabat.

A spokesperson from the Georgian Civil Aviation Agency told Agenda.ge that the conditions offered by Georgia were very favourable.

The Turkmen airline could launch direct flights between any points of Georgia and Turkmenistan without any restrictions,” he said.

He added Georgia was not the reason why Turkmenistan Airline decided to postpone launching direct flights.

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