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Ban on regular flights extended until September 1st

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, July 23
The ban on international regular flights was extended until September 1st. The Aviation Agency has already issued a relevant note. International tourism, which has been closed to Georgia since March, was due to open on the 1st of July, but the Georgian government has resumed regular flights until 1st of August, and has now postponed it for another month. The ruling team names the threat of coronavirus and ‘caring for citizens’ as the reason.

“The restriction provided by the note within the framework of preventing the spread of coronavirus has lasted from 21.07.20 and is valid until 31.08.20,” writes the Civil Aviation Agency.

The restriction does not apply only to the 3 destinations that will be operated from Tbilisi International Airport in August at Charles de Gaulle Paris, Munich and Riga International Airports.

“We do this only with the countries with which traffic is unconditionally allowed and we have direct flights. Accordingly, in August, we will continue to extend the temporary ban on regular flights to all other destinations, but gradually increase the area of regular flights,” the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava stated.

Lufthansa flies from Tbilisi to Munich twice a week. Company practically already unveiled its flight schedule and tickets are on sale. Air France flies to Paris twice a week as well. Regular air traffic between the capitals of Georgia and France will resume on August 8th. "The leading French airline will operate flights twice a week, according to the following schedule: Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport) - Tbilisi, every Wednesday and Saturday; Tbilisi-Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport), every Thursday and Sunday,” - said the Civil Aviation Agency. Regular flights will be operated by Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.

As for Riga, negotiations are underway with Air Baltic - the Georgian government wants only one flight a week, to which Air Baltic has not yet agreed.

Airzena will continue commercial charters. According to Turnava, it will have about 16 flights, slightly more than it had in July. Mostly, it will be Vienna and Amsterdam. In agreement with us, other commercial charters will also be allowed, providing quarantine spaces, the minister added.

As for the so-called Social charters, Tbilisi-Berlin-Tbilisi direction will be added to the announced 5 directions.

“This was a request of Georgian students who were going to fly to Germany with short-term employment programs. We have considered this to be the category where the state should use its subsidy resource and offer relatively affordable tickets. We have worked with the Department of Youth and in practice this flight will take place in the near future,” said Turnava.

Low-budget companies, Wizzair and Ryanair are not allowed to fly by the government yet, because, according to Turnava, low-budget companies do not arrange one or two flights a week. She explained that Wizzair and Ryanair want to fly to more than a dozen destinations, for which, in her opinion, Georgia is not ready for now.

Georgia has been included in the list of countries to which the EU has opened its borders since the 1st of July, however, the Georgian government will unconditionally allow only citizens of 5 EU countries. Citizens of Germany, France, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia can come to Georgia without any restrictions, however, Georgian citizens from the same countries must be quarantined for 2 weeks. The Council of the European Union has updated the list of countries to which the travel restrictions should be gradually lifted mid-July and the list still includes Georgia.

Georgia has reported 24 new cases on 22nd of July, taking the tally of total confirmed cases to 1073. In the meantime, 4 more patients have recovered, taking the number of recoveries to 907.