A new transit hub in Tbilisi, Georgia, is set to provide enhanced travel options for Russian passengers seeking direct flights to European destinations. Vitaly Vantsev, co-owner of Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport and Azimuth airline, disclosed to RBC.
“Our partners from Georgian Airways are offering Russian passengers good transit terms — they are opening direct flights to Europe: to Paris, Nice, and Rome, where direct flights from Russia have been suspended for the time being. As a result, after Istanbul, Yerevan, and Baku, Russians will get the fourth good transit hub in Tbilisi,” says Vantsev.
RBC writes that currently only Azimuth and Georgian Airways operate direct flights from Moscow airport to Tbilisi.
“Together with Georgian Airways, we are trying to serve it [the hub] in such a way that it is as comfortable as possible for our passengers and the transit time does not exceed 1.5 hours,” says Vantsev.
The Russian media outlet writes that at first, Azimuth and Georgian Airways had one flight between Moscow and Tbilisi. From July 5, the Russian airline company added a second flight a day, and from July 6, the Georgian airline company scheduled 4 additional flights per week. In addition, Georgian Airways has started transit flights from Moscow to Nice via Tbilisi.
In May of this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled the visa regime for Georgian citizens and lifted restrictions on flights to Georgia by Russian airlines.
According to the information of Эхо Кавказа, the Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia has issued permission for 284 weekly flights from Russia to Georgia.
At the beginning of this year, Ukraine imposed sanctions on Georgian Airways and its founder Tamaz GaIashvili for 10 years. The sanctions also affected the company of Valery Kvaratskhelia’s son, Davit Kvaratskhelia, which provides services to the Russian airline.