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Ministry of economy hosts presentation on current situation and projects at Georgian airports

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Friday, December 13
The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia hosted a presentation on the current situation and future projects at Georgian airports. Minister Natia Turnava heard detailed information on passenger traffic statistics, ongoing and planned projects, including steps towards the entry of new airlines into the Georgian air market, improved flight safety and enhanced travel conditions from the leaders of the Georgian Airports Association.

The presentation was presented by the CEO of the company Giorgi Chogovadze. He said significant decisions had been made in 2019 to develop all five of Georgia's airports - three internationals and two locals. He paid particular attention to statistics on passenger traffic in airports.

According to Chogovadze, as the Georgian Airports Association predicted during the beginning of the year, while direct flights to Russia was still active, the expected growth in November should have been 13%, but in reality, there is an 18% decrease in Tbilisi airport. Instead of a 15% forecast growth at the Batumi airport, only 7% growth was observed. The only international airport that exceeds expectations is Kutaisi Airport. In early 2019, it was expected to grow by 42% in November, with real growth at 50%.

According to the head of the Georgian Airports Association, the reason for this is the arrival of a new low-cost airline Ryanair in Kutaisi and the addition of new destinations by Wizz Air.

As Chogovadze suggests, reconstruction works are coming to an end at Kutaisi International Airport, as a result of which the capacity of the airport will be increased 4 times and it will be able to carry 1200 passengers in one hour smoothly. The average annual throughput of the new airport is 2 million. According to him, the construction of the new Kutaisi airport terminal will be completed within the project deadline and will receive the first passengers in the fall of 2020.

The minister of economy attended the presentation. As she noted, the country continues the 'open-air policy' in the field of civil aviation, which ensures the entry of new airlines and the development of new direct flights.

“The growth of passenger traffic and the creation of safe and comfortable conditions for them are important for the development of tourism and other sectors of the country's economy,” noted Turnava.

At the same time, according to the Minister, it is necessary to improve the quality of passenger service along with the reconstruction works at Kutaisi Airport. Turnava instructed the management of the Georgian Airports Association to monitor closely the ongoing and planned projects in both Kutaisi and other Georgian airports.

Kutaisi International Airport is fully operated by United Airports of Georgia. The airport was rebuilt in 2012 and is the first international airport in the region, offering cost-efficient airline services.