|Founded||1994 (as Airzena)|
|Hubs||Tbilisi International Airport|
|Key people||Roman Bokeria, General Director replaced by David Gaiashvili (Tamaz Gaiashvili's brother) in 2022|
Georgian Airways (Georgian: ჯორჯიან ეარვეისი), formerly Airzena, is the privately-owned flag carrier of Georgia, with its headquarters in Tbilisi. Its main base is Tbilisi International Airport. The company filed for bankruptcy on December 31, 2021, linked to a restructuring procedure and it has been for sale since January 2022. The airline continues to operate a limited number of profitable flights during the restructuring phase.
The airline Airzena was established in September 1993. Initially, Airzena operated charter flights to the United Arab Emirates, Italy, China, Egypt, India, and Syria, as well as a regularly scheduled flight to Vienna. The company managed to achieve recognition and retain its share in the aviation market during the economically and politically complicated period of the 1990s.
In 1999 Airzena became the flag carrier of Georgia. In August 2004, the company changed its name to Georgian Airways. During the first half of the 2000s, the airline's management decided to modernise the fleet, and leased two Boeing 737-500s from Hapag-Lloyd. This was the first case of a Georgian airline operating up-to-date Western equipment.
Following what Russia perceived as anti-Russian protests in June 2019, it banned all flights to and from Georgia starting July 8, 2019. Georgian Airways flights to Moscow-Vnukovo have since been operated by Aircompany Armenia via Yerevan. The ban was revoked by Russian president Vladimir Putin on May 10, 2023 starting May 15 and Georgian Airways announced it would then resume flights to Moscow from May 20, with the first flight arriving in Vnukovo on that day. In response, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky imposed sanctions against the airline on July 1.
Georgian Airways filed for bankruptcy on December 31, 2021, linked to restructuring proceedings, and the airline was put up for sale in January 2022. The airline is in debt of ₾125,000,000 (€52,000,000), against ₾21,000,000 in assets. The causes include the Russian flight ban since July 2019, but most of all the COVID-19 pandemic hit the airline hard. The Georgian authorities banned international air traffic for 11 months, with the exception of a number of monthly government mandated flights for repatriation purposes (operated by Georgian Airways). Georgian Airways cut back on its fleet (such as disposing of its Embraer planes) but with the Georgian resumption of international air traffic in February 2021, it could only offer six destinations.
The insolvency plan focusses on the year-round profitable routes (Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and Minsk) and a few profitable seasonal charters, while guaranteeing these flights. Georgian Airways indicated in January 2022 that it would continue to operate the flights.
As of April 2022, Georgian Airways operates scheduled services from Tbilisi International Airport to destinations in Austria, Israel and the Netherlands, while it jointly sells (but not operates) flights to Armenia and France.
- Moscow - Vnukovo International Airport (resumes 12 December 2023)
- Saint Petersburg - Pulkovo Airport (resumes 10 December 2023)
Georgian Airways partners with the following airlines:
The Georgian Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft as of July 2022:
|Boeing 737-700||1||—||12||120||132||Leased from Aircompany Armenia (06-2021)|
|Bombardier Challenger 850||1||—||VIP||For government and VIP use only|
The airline fleet previously included the following aircraft (inconclusive list):
Safety rating, accidents and incidents
Georgian Airways has a 7/7 safety rating, the highest level, in AirlineRatings.
- On 4 April 2011, United Nations Flight 834, a charter flight for a United Nations mission, operated by a Georgian Airways Bombardier CRJ100ER (registered as 4L-GAE) crashed at N'djili Airport, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, while flying at very low altitude in 'extremely inclement' weather. 32 of the 33 people on board were killed.
- "Contacts". Georgian Airways. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
- Flight International 3 April 2007
- "Indebted Georgian Airways Up for Sale". Civil Georgia. 18 January 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- "Putin's Ban On Direct Russia-Georgia Flights Comes Into Force". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- "Georgian Airways to launch Tbilisi-Moscow-Tbilisi flights from May 20". InterpressNews. 16 May 2023. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
- "Зеленский ввел санкции против грузинской авиакомпании Georgian Airways". Kommersant (in Russian). 1 July 2023.
- "Georgian Airways has filed for Bankruptcy / Rehabilitation". Business Media Georgia (in Georgian). 8 July 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- "Georgian Airways files for insolvency, put up for sale". Eurasianet. 20 January 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- "Georgian Airways estimates $25mn loss from Russia flight ban". Ch Aviation. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- "Georgia resumes regular flights today". Agenda.ge. 1 February 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- In practical terms the Minsk flights do not operate.
- "Attention!". Georgian Airways. 18 January 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- "Georgian Airways Resumes 2 Russian Routes in Dec 2023". AeroRoutes. 8 November 2023. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
- "Georgian Airways Partners". www.georgian-airways.com. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Airzena Georgian Airways Fleet Details and History". PlaneSpotters Net. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
- "4L-GTI AIRZENA GEORGIAN AIRWAYS BOEING 737-700". PlaneSpotters Net. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
- "Georgian Airways started Air Cargo shipment to China". Business Media Georgia. 27 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
- "Aircompany Armenia and Georgian Airlines Add Capacity with Order for 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters". Boeing Global Services. 18 July 2022. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
- "OK-SBK ALTERNA CAPITAL PARTNERS BOEING 737-800". PlaneSpotters Net. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
- https://www.airlineratings.com/ratings/georgian-airways/ using these criteria; https://www.airlineratings.com/safety-rating-criteria/ This site is referred to by https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/world-best-airline-airlineratings/ and http://uk.businessinsider.com/best-airlines-2018-airlineratings-2017-11. Georgian Airways is not rated in Skytrax.
- "Investigation Report of accident involving Georgian Airways aircraft CRJ-100ER (4L-GAE) at Kinshasha's N'djili Airport Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 4 April 2011" (PDF). Ministry of the Transportation and Ways of Communication. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
Media related to Georgian Airways at Wikimedia Commons