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We can’t fly in the fog

By Sopo Datishvili
Tuesday, December 9
On December 6 and 7 Tbilisi International Airport had to postpone certain night flights due to fog. The airport was unable to accept incoming international flights. Flights to Tbilisi from Baku, London, Tel Aviv, Dnepropetrovsk and Riga were postponed by different carriers.

Georgian air companies also had to delay their flights. As spokesperson of Airzena Georgian airlines Nino Giorgobiani told The Messenger, the company had to reschedule flights from Tel Aviv, Kiev and London. “Visibility was weak due to the fog density and we made a decision to postpone our flights as we care about the safety of our passengers. Instead of being left to wait in the airport they were taken to different hotels,” she added.

Another Georgian company, Sky Georgia, had to postpone two night flights on December 7. As company spokesperson Nino Sturua said, one of them was from Kiev to Tbilisi and another from Tbilisi to Istanbul. German company Lufthansa also had to change its timetable of flights, as the early morning flight to Munich on December 8 could not depart. Lufthansa representative Mariam Tsereteli told The Messenger that the passengers would be able to fly to Munich the same day without problem, but the company didn’t provide its passengers with accommodation as the problem was caused by the weather and not the company itself.

As a representative of Georgian Air Navigation told Interpressnews, the airport was well equipped with all lighting devices. But the fog was very thick and flying in such conditions was impossible. Visibility was 50 m, under the safety limit.

The hydro meteorological centre hadn’t been able to make an official comment about this issue at the time of going to press as it was waiting for permission from the Environment Ministry. So whether flights will be delayed on forthcoming nights or not is also “foggy.”