Passenger traffic at Georgian airports decreased by 10% due to bans on flights from Russia

Passenger traffic at the international airports of Tbilisi and Batumi, Georgia, decreased by 10% in July 2019 due to a temporary ban on flights from Russia, Georgian Deputy Minister of Economy Akaki Sagirashvili announced on Tuesday in his interview with the Georgian television company IMEDI, TASS reported.

“Due to the well-known events that have affected our civil aviation market, there is a decline in work at Tbilisi and Batumi international airports. In total, we are seeing a 10 percent drop. For example, if in July last year, Tbilisi Airport served 430 thousand passengers, then it missed 385 thousand people this year. Batumi served 100 thousand people in July this year, while last year this figure was 111 thousand,” Mr. Sagirashvili said.

On August 7, the Georgian National Tourism Administration published statistics for July, according to which Russian citizens made about 160 thousand visits to Georgia, which is by 6.4% less, as compared to the same period in 2018. On Monday, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said that the tourism sector suffered about US $ 60 million from a flight ban.

On July 8, 2019 a decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on the introduction of a temporary ban on Russian airlines to carry out air transportation (including commercial) of citizens to Georgia came into force. The decision of the Russian Ministry of Transport on the suspension of flights of Georgian airlines to the territory of the Russian Federation also came into force. Sanctions were imposed after several thousand people staged an anti-Russian rally in Tbilisi near the parliament building on June 20, 2019.

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