Georgian Airways: Russia flight ban cost $25 million so far

Georgia’s national flag carrier, Georgian Airways, on Monday said that the ban on direct flights to Russia resulted in losses of about $25 million.

“Suspension of the direct air service between Georgia and Russia dealt a material blow to Georgian Airways and put it into a challenging financial position. The airline had to return about 80% of tickets already sold. Furthermore, the number of individuals desirous of buying tickets declined dramatically, and the airline sustained damages of about $25 mln in total because of that,” the air carrier said.

The management of Georgian Airways also responded to a recent decision of the Georgian government on incentivization of transit air traffic from Russia to Georgia via Yerevan and allocation of 600,000 euro. “The management of Georgian Airways requested the Georgian government to provide financial aid to the company in the challenging situation. The government of Georgia took the airline’s request into consideration and made the decision to partly compensate damages to Georgian Airways, thereby supporting the Georgian company,” the airline noted.

On June 21, Russian President Putin issued a decree imposing a ban on flights, including commercial ones, from Russia to Georgia starting July 8. On June 22, Russia’s Transport Ministry announced that starting on July 8, flights by Georgian airlines to Russia would be halted.

Russia banned flights to and from Georgia following the protests in Tbilisi that were sparked by an uproar over a Russian legislator’s address in the Georgian parliament. Kremlin said the flight ban was aimed at ensuring the safety of Russians, who might run into danger in Georgia.