The Georgian Civil Aviation Agency on Monday issued a permit for the Russian airline Azimuth to operate daily flights between Russia and Georgia starting on Friday, following last week’s controversial lifting of air connections between the countries by the Kremlin.
The Agency said the company was being allowed to carry passengers to Georgia as it was not under the international sanctions placed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
It said Azimuth was neither on the European Union’s blacklist of sanctioned companies nor the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list of the United States or “any other sanctions lists administered by the [US Office of Foreign Assets Control]”.
One-way tickets for the connection will range between 23,373-63,973 roubles ($293.59-803.57).
The granting of the permit to the airline comes as Azimuth removed the Russian-occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) from the list of countries on its website, Echo Kavkaza news website has reported. The two regions had been listed as countries in selections for users registering on the page.
The Georgian body’s issuance of the permit also comes after it on Monday said flights between Georgia and Russia would only be carried out by airlines and aircraft not under the international sanctions placed on Russia.
Georgian Economy Minister Levan Davitashvili also said the country’s authorities were following the “strictest” examples of countries operating flights with Russia while observing international sanctions placed on the Kremlin for its invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian Government last week said it was removing the ban it had placed in 2019 on direct flights with Georgia following anti-Kremlin protests in Tbilisi in 2019, on the backdrop of Russia’s ongoing occupation of Georgian territories.