How beneficial is the Georgian civil aviation market?

Recently, representatives of a number of Georgian airlines have announced a reduction in passenger traffic and a lack of competition in the civil aviation market. However, real numbers suggest the opposite – the number of airlines operating in Georgia, as well as passenger traffic are growing.

In 2016, 2.2 million passengers used the services of the airport in Tbilisi, in 2017, their number was 31.1 million, and 3.8 million in 2018.

The performance of Kutaisi Airport is growing as well – 405,000 in 2017 and 617,000 in 2018.

During 2018, the passenger flow of Georgian airports increased by 23.5%, as compared to 2017 and amounted to 5.03 million people.

The five leading airlines look like this: Wizz Air – 587,179 passengers (12% of the market), Turkish Airlines – 559,749 (11%), Georgian Airways – 550,831 (11%), Ural Airlines – 294,000 (6%), and Fly Dubai – 250,296 passengers (5% of the market).

Despite the termination of flights with Russia, when considering the Jan – Sep 2019 period, growth is also observed, and Wizz Air remains the leader, as this air carrier accounts for 15% of the country’s civil aviation market.

The data show that, in general, foreign air companies are leading the Georgian market, which shows a fairly high level of competition.

In 2019, some changes in the structure of airlines operating in Georgia are likely to be expected, as after long negotiations, the largest low-cost airline in the world, the Irish Ryanair came to the country.

The air company announced its entry into the Georgian aviation market in August, and began flights in November.

The profit of the Georgian market is also evidenced by the net profit of “Cargo Air Navigation”, which amounted to GEL 20.4 million in 2018.

At present, 88% of Georgia’s civil aviation market is controlled by foreign companies, and only 12% is controlled by domestic/Georgian air companies.

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