Flights to Georgia become almost 1.5 times more expensive

Flights from Russia to Georgia went up by 31-55% after the ban on direct flights was introduced, which began to operate exactly a month ago, ticket-booking services informed Izvestia.

At the same time, demand collapsed – for some aggregators the number of requests for this direction decreased by two to four times. Although the Russians still have the opportunity to fly to Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi with a transfer, our travelers are not in a hurry to use it. According to Tutu.ru, Georgia has already dropped from third place in the top 10 most popular destinations among independent tourists to the 20th line.

Prices have grown on bans

After the ban on direct flights was introduced, the main transit points were Baku, Istanbul, Yerevan and Minsk. According to Aviasales, the average check for flights with transfers increased by 35% – up to RUR 16.6 thousand (roundtrip).

According to Biletix, in the period from July 8 to July 31, the flight to Georgia and back, in comparison with the same June figures, increased in price by an average of 36%. And if you compare with last year’s figures on the same dates, the increase in the average check amounted to 72% – 22,466 against 13,054 rubles.

Tickets purchased through Tutu.ru, after the ban was introduced, rose on average by 55%, the official representative of the service Natalya Anisimova told Izvestia. In this case, we compared the prices of tickets from Russia to Georgia, purchased in June and July 2019, with a departure in the next month.

Momondo recorded an increase in the average cost of a round-trip flight in the Georgian direction by 31%, up to 24,200 rubles. At the same time, Kupibilet noted that prices went up sharply immediately after the news about the introduction of restrictions appeared in the media. If before the announcement of the termination of direct air links between the Russian Federation and Georgia from July 8, the average cost of a one-way ticket was 8,200 rubles, then after that it took off in 11 hours to 11,150 rubles.

Peak growth, according to the service, fell on the period from July 5 to 8.

– These days, tickets for direct flights were bought up for 10-11 thousand rubles one way. Passengers purchased them, taking advantage of the latest opportunities to fly without a transfer, Kupibilet spokesman Andrei Maltsev told Izvestia.

The price adjustment, he said, is largely due to the so-called routing, as the distance to Tbilisi has changed due to transfers.

Now, according to the service, the most available tickets to Georgia are through Baku (34%), Yerevan (24%), Minsk (15%), Istanbul (14%) and Nur-Sultan (12%). You can also get to Georgian cities by air via Riga and Alma-Ata (less than 1% of tickets).

The cheapest flight, according to Aviasales, is a flight to Georgia with a transfer in Istanbul – the price of round-trip tickets starts from 15 thousand rubles, followed by a route through Baku – from 16.5 thousand rubles. The most expensive – through Riga or Minsk – from 18.5 thousand rubles.

Demand is behind supply

Travelers do not refuse to travel to Georgia at all and continue to fly to Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi with transfers, Aviasales spokesman Janis Dzenis said. But the demand in this direction since the introduction of the ban on direct flights has decreased significantly – by 83%, he added.

According to Biletix, from July 8 to July 31, sales fell by 61% compared to the same period last year.

– Last year we recorded active sales of air tickets to Georgia from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Rostov-On-Don, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Omsk and other large cities. Now reservations are only from Moscow and St. Petersburg, the service representative added.

In August last year, Georgia, according to Tutu.ru, was in third place in the top 10 most popular countries among independent tourists (they do not travel on trips). This year, the country dropped to 20th place. Demand, according to the company’s calculations, fell four times, since not all tourists are ready to fly with transfers, the service representative added.

According to Kupibilet.ru analyst Anastasia Denisova, in June most often bought tickets in this direction from Russian carriers and Georgian Airlines, and now there is a significant increase in ticket sales for Azerbaijan Airlines and Belavia.

She also noted that on the Moscow-Tbilisi route, Armenia was the only new company, which today is the “operating carrier” for Georgian Airlines flights from Moscow to Tbilisi. Cooperation with her is a way for a Georgian company not to lose market share in this direction.

Loss estimate

In July, Georgia, according to the National Tourism Administration (NAT) of the republic, has already lost $ 44 million due to a reduction in the flow of Russian tourists. Earlier, the head of NAT, Mariam Kvrivishvili, said that losses could be even greater – double-digit growth in the tourist sector was planned for this year.

Losses are also incurred by Russian tour operators – the head of the Turpomosch Association, Alexander Osaulenko, estimated them at about 150 million rubles at the end of July.

“This is the summer season, so both excursion and cultural tourism, and beach tourism — the resorts of Batumi,” said Dmitry Gorin, adviser to the head of Rostourism, vice president of the Association of Russian Tour Operators. – But losses can only be estimated approximately, since there are direct losses, but there is a lost profit”.

However, he emphasized that about 70% of tourists did not demand a refund, but rebooked tours to other countries or to Russian resorts.

Direct flights from Russia to Georgia until July 8 were carried out by six Russian carriers – Aeroflot, Pobeda, Ural Airlines, S7, Red Wings and Smartavia. Their losses, according to preliminary estimates by the Ministry of Transport, amounted to about 3 billion rubles. The Russian authorities promised to compensate the airlines for the damage, but the mechanism and final amounts were not officially announced. In Rosaviatsiya clarifying questions of “Izvestia” redirected to the Ministry of Transport, and there the final amount was not named. Carriers also did not disclose the amount of financial losses and the change in the route network.

Source – https://iz.ru/

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