Jat Airways General Director, Srdan Radovanovic, reportedly stated that Turkish Airlines is the most serious candidate to become a strategic partner to Jat Airways (Ve ernje novosti, 27-Nov-2009). Mr Radovanovi stated Turkish Airlines was interested "in any form of strategic partnership", and that the decision could be made by 20-Dec-2009. Olympic Airways' owners, Marfin, last week announced it had acquired control of Serbia's JAT.
Turkish Airlines a "serious candidate" for Jat Airways partnership
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Georgia aviation market Part 2: a case study on liberal policies driving rapid airport growth
Georgia’s three international airports have benefitted from a liberal aviation policy, which has led to a period of rapid traffic growth. As highlighted in the first half of this report, total passenger traffic in Georgia increased by 26% in 2016 and is projected to grow by another 40% in 2017.
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
Georgia has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing air travel markets in the world, driven by a booming tourism industry and a liberal aviation policy. This small country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia recorded passenger traffic growth of 26% in 2016 and expects even faster growth of approximately 40% in 2017.
Visitor arrivals increased by 8% in 2016, driven by a 40% increase in arrivals by air. Visitors now account for 75% of Georgia’s total passenger traffic and tourism contributes to more than 7% of the country’s GDP.
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.