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Ryanair Starts Flights to Tbilisi, Georgia

Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, has entered Georgia’s aviation market. The airline gained operating rights to fly to the country on October 24th and launched its first flight from Tbilisi to Milan on November 8th. The inaugural flight is the start of Ryanair’s Georgia Winter 2019 schedule, planned to carry 130,000 passengers in and out of the country and create over 100 new “on-site” jobs.

The new operations bring a lot to the table for Ryanair and the Georgian airports. The schedule consists of:

  • Tbilisi to Milan operated 4 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday)
  • Kutaisi to Marseille operated twice a week (Thursday, Sunday)
  • Kutaisi to Bologna operated twice a week (Tuesday, Saturday)

The winter schedule is not the end of Ryanair’s plans. Starting in April 2020, Ryanair will also begin service between Tbilisi and Cologne twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays, with plans to eventually serve 12 destinations. The Tbilisi-Cologne and Kutaisi-Marseille routes will be operated on Malta Air, Ryanair’s new subsidiary.

Olga Pawlonka of Ryanair said in a statement, “We’re delighted to officially launch our Georgia winter 2019 schedule, with the start of our new routes from Tbilisi to Milan Bergamo and from Kutaisi to Marseille and Bologna. Today marks the start of our first ever winter schedule for Tbilisi and Kutaisi airports which will help deliver 130,000 customers to/from Tbilisi and Kutaisi airports this year.”

Not only is this expansion a win for Ryanair, but also for the Georgian economy, with expectations that the low-cost carrier will help grow the country’s tourism industry.

The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Natela Turnava, said, “let me congratulate on the launching of flights with the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair to Georgia. I am pleased that both our citizens and tourists coming to Georgia are already able to take advantage of direct flights operated by Ryanair. Airline’s operations in the Georgian market will allow us not only to expand new tourist flows and develop the tourism industry but also to offer our citizens cheap flights from Kutaisi and Tbilisi to the new European destinations.”

Ryanair’s new flights could not come at a better time for the Georgian government. In July, Russia banned direct flights into Georgia after anti-Russia protests occurred in the capital city, Tbilisi. The ban disrupted the growing trend in the country’s aviation market, so Ryanair may be able to fill those gaps.


[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

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