Pobeda Airlines, Russia, left the Georgian civil aviation market with dumping prices, says Givi Davitashvili, Director General, Georgian Airways. According to him, Georgian Airways has repeatedly made statements about operating with Russian and Turkish air companies at dumping prices, but the authorities do not take any retaliatory steps.
“The same thing is with Turkey, there is a problem, and it requires a resolution, for example, in those days, when we have a flight to Amsterdam on the same day, as Turkish Airlines; the latter offers a price 2-3 times cheaper than ours”, Davitashvili said.
He also mentioned discrimination against the Georgian air companies. According to Davitashvili, business can not fix it independently, therefore, the government support is required.
“Russian airlines operate on Moscow – Tbilisi flight and it costs them $12-15 thousand cheaper, because, for example, the air navigation tax for Russia is much lower than for Georgian airlines. If you compare the length of the flight en route Tbilisi – Moscow, then 88% of the time we fly over Russia and only 12% over Georgia, which naturally causes damage for us. Payment in airports in Russia is three times cheaper for Russian companies. At the same time, a visa is required for our crew to fly to, but Russian crews do not need one, and so on”, Davitashvili said.
He also announced that due to the closure of the runway at Tbilisi International Airport, the air company suffered losses of up to 5 million (Davitashvili did not name the currency). The losses were due to the fact that the airport is functioning only at nights, and 95% of Georgian Airways’ flights are operated during the daytime.
According to Davitashvili, the full amount of damages has not been calculated yet.
He also expressed his hope that the authorities would take appropriate steps to support the Georgian airline. (Russian Aviation/Business World Magazine)