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Georgian Airways continues protest

Wednesday, December 17
Georgian Airways is continuing to protest the recent Russia-Georgia contract about resuming direct flights between the two countries but announced it would not suspend flights to other destinations.

The Tbilisi-based company states the current agreement gave an unfair advantage to Russian companies.

"Georgian Airways went on strike owing to the artificial attempting company’s bankruptcy. We will continue the protest until our demands are met,” said Georgian Airways pilot David Nikuradze.

Airline officials have demanded a meeting with Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to discuss their plight.

On December 12, Georgia's Economy Minister said according to the agreement Russian companies as well as Georgian Airways would have a permission to enter the country and each were allowed to conduct 14 flights a week. He also stressed that from tourism point of view being of Russian airlines’ in Georgia was beneficial for the country.

However, Georgian Airways officials believed giving 13 Russian companies permission to enter the country and each were allowed to conduct 14 flights a week meant not only Georgian Airways (Airzena) but the whole Georgian aviation market was handed over to the Russian government.

Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot began daily direct flights from Moscow to Tbilisi in October 2014. In September 2014, Russia's federal aviation agency announced that 6 more airlines were granted permission to fly to Georgia, including VIM-Avia, Globus, Sibir, Transaero, Ural Airlines and UTair.