Georgian airlines are to be temporarily suspend from flying to Russia amid rising tensions between the two countries. Carriers from Georgia have been banned from using Russian airspace.
The move comes after the Kremlin also barred Russian airlines flying to Georgia, saying it was to “ensure Russia's national security and protect Russian nationals from criminal and other unlawful activities”. The suspensions will start from 8 July 2019.
Russia is Georgia’s largest international passenger market by percentage share of scheduled departure seats, according to data from OAG Schedules Analyser.
For w/c 24 June 2019, a total of 25.6 percent of seats are to points in Russia. Turkey is second with a 12.0 percent capacity share, followed by Ukraine on 8.6 percent. Israel is fourth on 7.7 percent and United Arab Emirates completes the top five on 6.3 percent.
Georgia, meanwhile, is only the 16th largest international market from Russia for the same week with a 2.1 percent capacity share of departure seats. It trails the likes of Belarus (2.2 percent), Armenia (2.4 percent) and Kazakhstan (2.6 percent).
Capacity between Russia and Georgia has growth rapidly in recent years, topping 1.77 million seats in 2018. This is up by 561 percent compared with five years earlier.
OAG data shows that there are 42,324 weekly two-way seats between the two countries (w/c 24 June 2019), up from 29,915 during the same week a year ago (w/c 25 June 2018).
Nine carriers serve the market with Ural Airlines commanding the largest share, offering 32.8 percent of all available seats. Georgian Airways has an 18.9 percent capacity share, followed by Pobeda with 16.1 percent. Siberia Airlines (14.2 percent) and Aeroflot (10.6 percent) complete the top five.
In total, there are 17 non-stop routes served between Russia and Georgia. Ural Airlines operates on ten of them, while Georgian Airways operates six routes.
The largest route by the total number of available weekly seats is Batumi International Airport - Moscow Domodedovo, which is served by Ural Airlines, Siberia Airlines and Red Wings Airlines. OAG data shows there are 5,948 two-way weekly seats (w/c 24 June 2019).
Tbilisi - Vnukovo is the second-largest with 5,292 weekly seats, while Tbilisi - Moscow Sheremetyevo is third with 4,502 seats.
Russia - Georgia routes by airline (w/c 14 June 2019):