Georgian Airways has confirmed plans to boost its European network following the resumption of its nonstop route to Moscow, Russia.
The Georgian flag carrier has seen an opportunity to become a conduit for traffic between Russia and the European Union, since nonstop flights remain banned due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to local media, Georgian Airways’ chairman confirmed that the airline is set to expand its scheduled flight program to include destinations such as Milan, Italy, Larnaca, Cyprus, and Thessaloniki, Greece.
According to the ch-aviation database, Georgian Airways currently operates 2 Boeing 737-700s and one Boeing 737-800. As of May 26, 2023 the airline’s website advertises flights from Tbilisi (TBS) to Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Yerevan and Tel Aviv. It is also possible to book nonstop flights to Moscow-Vnukovo (VKO).
The resumption of direct air links with Russia, after a four-year long politically motivated hiatus, has caused strong controversy in Georgia. It has prompted a wave of street protests and an angry rift between Georgian Airlines and the country’s president, Salome Zourabichvili, who has now been banned from flying the airline after showing her opposition to the resumption of the flights to Russia.
Opponents of the reestablishment of air links have voiced their concerns about the Russian government using this measure as a tool to increase its political influence in the country.
So far, only one Russian airline, regional carrier Azimut, has resumed services to Georgia.