Georgian Airways performs Tbilisi-Saint Petersburg flight

Georgian Airways said it would stay on strike until its eight requests are met., 11 Apr 2015 - 18:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

After a seven-year break Georgian Airways performed a Tbilisi-Saint Petersburg flight yesterday.

The air company’s Director-General Iase Zautahsvili said the flight was carried out with a one-time permit from the Russian side and it was not known yet whether or not regular flights would resume on this route.

Georgian Airways, previously known as Airzena, is a privately owned flag carrier that operates a variety of services from Georgia to destinations mainly in Europe and Western Asia. The airline’s planes performed regular Tbilisi-Saint Petersburg flights until 2008.

In August 2008, regular direct flights between Georgia and Russia were terminated. In 2009 Georgian Airways, with the consent of the Russian side, launched Tbilisi– Moscow charter flights, while in 2011 S7 Airlines of Russia also operated charter flights to Tbilisi. Since October 2014 Aeroflot and Transaero of Russia resumed their flights to Georgia, as they, like S7 Airlines and Georgian Airways, fly on the Moscow-Tbilisi air route.

Yesterday’s Tbilisi-Saint Petersburg flight had only three passengers on board, while the plane carried "a little bit more” passengers from Saint Petersburg to Tbilisi. Zautashvili said the lack of passengers was due to a very short notice from the Russian side. The airline company was informed it could perform the flight only a day before the flight date so it had no time to inform its customers.

Meanwhile Georgian Airways has sent a request to the Russian side about launching direct scheduled Tbilisi-Saint Batesburg and Tbilisi-Samara flights. Zautashvili hoped they would know the answer from the Russian side by April 15. If the Russian side approves Georgia's request, Georgian Airways will operate flights on these routes twice a week.