TAV Georgia, a subsidiary of TAV Airports, commenced (05-Sep-2012) renovation works for the second runway at Tbilisi Airport. TAV Georgia is constructing a second runway at the airport, renovating and extending an unused runway as part of the agreement reached with United Airports Georgia, the State Airports Authority of Georgia. Once renovated, the airport will be able to support A380-800, Boeing 747-8F and Antonov 225 aircraft. TAV will be investing USD65 million for the project which is expected to last for two years. According to the agreement, the current operational rights of TAV Georgia have been extended by 10 years and nine months to 2037. Following the build-operate-transfer tenders it has won, TAV Airports has undertaken the operations of Tbilisi and Batumi airports in 2005 and 2005 respectively. Batumi Airport is a first in the region in terms of being used as a shared facility between Georgia and Turkey. Direct flights have been launch between the two countries after the undertaking of the operation by TAV Airports. [more - original PR]
TAV initialises USD65m investment in Tbilisi for a new runway
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Passenger traffic at Georgia’s main gateway, Tbilisi International Airport, increased by 22% in 2016. Tbilisi traffic has grown from only 700,000 in 2009 to 2.3 million in 2016. The airport has been operated by Turkey’s TAV since 2007.
Georgia’s other two international airports, at Batumi and Kutaisi, grew even faster in 2016. Batumi also has been operated by TAV since 2007, while Kutaisi has been government owned since it opened in 2012.
Kutaisi is marketed as a low cost airport – the first of its kind in former Soviet republics – and has experienced an accelerated rate of growth since the opening of a base by Wizz Air in Sep-2016. Georgia’s investment in Kutaisi, and decision to pursue an LCC model for the new airport, represent another example of a liberal and innovative approach in a region dominated by legacy thinking.
Georgia aviation market Part 1: tourism drove 26% growth in 2016; projected 40% growth for 2017
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This is the first half of a two part report on the Georgia aviation market, providing a case study on how a liberal approach to aviation can have a significant positive impact. Other former Soviet republics, as well as small countries in other regions, can potentially learn from the Georgia example and stop protecting their national airline.