The Civil Aviation Agency of Georgia has issued permission for the flights of another Russian airline Red Wings. The company became the third air carrier admitted to air connections between Russia and Georgia. Previously, Georgian Airways and Russian "Azimut" received permits.
From June, Red Wings will operate flights from Sochi to Tbilisi and from Moscow to Kutaisi. There will be flights on the routes three times a week.
Red Wings planes flew to occupied Crimea. Ukraine introduced sanctions against this air carrier in 2021. The companyʼs planes are partially under arrest in absentia. The Red Wings have not yet come under Western sanctions.
Meanwhile, the first plane from Moscow in four years landed at the airport in Tbilisi. The flight was operated by the Azimut airline.
The waiting hall of Shota Rustaveli Airport was closed, and the building was surrounded by police. According to Radio Svoboda, when asked about the reasons for the closure, the police answer: "No reason." Protesters gathered near the airport.
- On May 10, 2023, Putin signed a decree and canceled the visa regime for Georgian citizens from May 15, 2023, and also canceled the ban on air transportation from Russia to Georgia, which was in effect since June 2019.
- Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili called it a provocation and even convened the countryʼs Security Council. Instead, the Georgian government sees nothing wrong with resuming air traffic.
- Georgia has declared that it will not allow sanctioned airlines and planes into its airspace, the EU has warned it about this. On May 15, Georgia issued the first permit since 2019 for flights to Russia, which was received by the Russian airline Azimut.