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Georgian Flights To Moscow Resume

Departures and arrivals board shows flight coming from Tbilisi at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport.
MOSCOW/TBILISI -- Georgian Airways resumed charter flights today between Tbilisi and Moscow, RFE/RL's Echo of the Caucasus and Georgian Service report.

The flights are temporary and will continue until June 9, when they will be reevaluated.

Permanent flights were halted in 2006 and air travel been the two capitals has been irregular since then, with Russia allowing several flights to take place only during holidays.

Georgian Airways spokesman Nino Giorgobiani said on May 21 that the renewal of the flights had no connection with political relations and was the outcome of technical interaction with Russian aviation authorities.

He said Georgian Airways contacted the Russian Transportation and Aviation Ministry at the request of "the Georgian diaspora in Russia," seeking Moscow's approval for charter flights during the summer.

Giorgobiani said Georgian Airways would conduct three or four flights per week depending on demand.

He said a political agreement was needed for permanent flights between the two countries to be reestablished, adding that Georgian Airways executives hoped today's renewal of flights would result in such a deal.

Without direct flights between Tbilisi and Moscow, passengers had to fly via Armenia, Ukraine, or Belarus, with most people flying on Armenian Airways.