Loukoster "Victory" warned about the cancellation of flights to Tbilisi from the Russian regions. The airline began to return money for 17 thousand tickets sold, which, according to experts, means a loss of about 40 million rubles. The carrier blames the Georgian authorities for refusing flights, which refused to issue permission to fly. However, the Civil Aviation Agency of Georgia and the sources of “Kommersant” in the Russian Federation claim that Victory itself violated the agreement between the countries, which prohibits flying a triangle to Tbilisi or Moscow.
Pobeda Airlines (part of the Aeroflot group) on October 26 reported that it was canceling flights to Tbilisi from St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Perm until November 1, because the Georgian authorities refused to issue permission to fly. The airline stressed that "Victory" was appointed carrier for these flights by decision of the interdepartmental commission. Now the airline is forced to return the money for 17 thousand tickets, which sold since July. “At the same time, Georgian Georgian Airways received permission from the Russian aviation authorities to carry out all announced flights from Tbilisi to the regions of the Russian Federation, for which Victory was not allowed to be serviced,” the carrier underlines. They began to alert customers about the cancellation of flights and a full refund. Additional comments in the "Victory" is not provided. The Rosaviation and the Ministry of Transport did not respond to the request of “Kommersant”.
The head of the administrative department of the Civil Aviation Agency of Georgia (AGAH), Veriko Bakhtadze, said to Kommersant that, according to the agreements of Georgia and the Russian Federation of 2016, the flights under the so-called “triangle” scheme, when the airline can make an intermediate stop in the territory of another country, before how to fly to the final destination is valid only in cases where the route does not pass through Moscow or Tbilisi. Since it is Tbilisi that appears in the Victory application, the airlines were not given permission to fly from Petersburg-Tbilisi-Perm-Tbilisi-Petersburg, Petersburg-Tbilisi-Yekaterinburg-Tbilisi-Petersburg and Petersburg-Tbilisi-Kazan-Tbilisi-Petersburg. At the same time on October 24, emphasize in the AGAH, “Victory” was given permission to fly on the route Rostov-on-Don — Tbilisi — Rostov-on-Don.
A Russian source for Kommersant confirms that in this case Victory, having laid routes through Tbilisi, violated bilateral agreements. He notes that Georgian Airways does not fly in a “triangle” pattern and did not request permission for such flights.
According to estimates by Infoline-Analitika, Pobeda will have to return about 40 million rubles. for tickets already purchased. The cancellation of Pobeda flights will lead to an increase in demand for S7, Utair, Ural Airlines and Georgian Airways flights, and the expenses of passengers, taking into account the higher cost of flights, will increase from 1.5 thousand to 7 thousand rubles. one way, depending on directions, says the head of the company, Mikhail Burmistrov. On Friday, flights from Moscow to Tbilisi via Rostov-on-Don costing from 24.5 thousand rubles were available for sale at Pobeda. at both ends.
Civil aviation expert Iase Zautashvili, ex-CEO of Airzena airline (merged with Georgian Airways since 1999), reminds that all low-cost airlines fly to Georgia through Kutaisi airport (236 km from Tbilisi). Mr. Zautashvili notes that under the protocol of 2016, Russian airlines and Georgian Airways operate 21 flights a week, that is, a total of 42 flights (three flights a day). “The Russian side has assigned three airlines to Moscow: Aeroflot, Siberia and Ural Airlines,” the expert reminds, noting that Pobeda also tried to get an appointment for these flights, citing the regional status of Zhukovsky Airport. According to Mr. Zautashvili, “Victory” on the route to Tbilisi “set dumping prices” and thus adversely affected the passenger traffic of Georgian Airways.