Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport

თბილისის შოთა რუსთაველის სახელობის საერთაშორისო აეროპორტი
TAV Airports Holding logo.svg
Tbilisi airport 1.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerUnited Airports of Georgia LLC
OperatorTAV Airports Holding
ServesTbilisi
LocationTbilisi, Georgia
Hub for
Elevation AMSL1,624 ft / 495 m
Coordinates41°40′09″N 044°57′17″E / 41.66917°N 44.95472°E / 41.66917; 44.95472Coordinates: 41°40′09″N 044°57′17″E / 41.66917°N 44.95472°E / 41.66917; 44.95472
Websitehttp://tbilisiairport.com/
Map
TBS/UGTB is located in Georgia
TBS/UGTB
TBS/UGTB
Location within Georgia
TBS/UGTB is located in West and Central Asia
TBS/UGTB
TBS/UGTB
TBS/UGTB (West and Central Asia)
TBS/UGTB is located in Europe
TBS/UGTB
TBS/UGTB
TBS/UGTB (Europe)
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13R/31L 3,000 9,843 Concrete
13L/31R (closed) 2,500 8,202 Asphalt
Helipads
Number Length Surface
m ft
H1 30 98 Asphalt/Concrete
Statistics (2019)
Passengers3,692,202
Passenger change 18-19Decrease3.1%
Source: Georgian AIP at EUROCONTROL[1]

Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport (Georgian: თბილისის შოთა რუსთაველის სახელობის საერთაშორისო აეროპორტი) (IATA: TBS, ICAO: UGTB), formerly Novo Alexeyevka International Airport, is the main international airport in Georgia, located 17 km (11 mi) southeast of capital Tbilisi. The airport handled 3.7 million passengers in 2019. Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the airspace of Georgia was closed for most of 2020 causing the number of travelers through Tbilisi airport to drop with 84% to less than 600,000.

General

Tbilisi Airport is home to Georgian flag carrier Georgian Airways and MyWay Airlines, which was founded in 2017. The airport is served by approximately 30 airlines, mainly from Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia serving roughly 30 destinations out of Tbilisi. Due to the increasing popularity of Georgia and the city of Tbilisi as a tourist destination, the number of travelers grew since 2010 from 1 million to almost 4 million until the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The airspace of Georgia was closed for most of 2020 with the exception of government-mandated expatriation flights,[2] but regular international air traffic resumed as of February 2021.

Following a political row in June 2019, Russia banned flights to and from Georgia starting July 8, 2019.[3] Georgian Airways from Tbilisi to Moscow-Vnukovo have since been operated by Aircompany Armenia through Yerevan. The ban was still in effect at the end of 2021. The Kremlin has also banned all Russian airlines from flying to Georgia. A similar ban was in effect during 2006–2008.[4]

The George W. Bush Avenue (Kakheti Highway) leads from the airport to the center of Tbilisi.[5] A train service is available as well opposite the exit of the airport building. The train leaves twice a day from the modernist station that opened in 2007.

History

Terminal of 1952, now VIP lounge
Terminal of 1952, now VIP lounge

The first airport terminal building was constructed in 1952. Designed by the architect V. Beridze in the style of Stalinist architecture the building featured a floor plan with symmetric axes and a monumental risalit in the form of a portico. The two wings featured blind arcades in giant order. A new terminal building was completed in 1990, designed in the International style.[6]

In 1981 Tbilisi airport was the 12th largest airport in the Soviet Union, with 1,478,000 passengers on so-called central lines, which were flights connecting Tbilisi with cities in other Soviet republics.[7] After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the civil war and the economic crisis in the newly independent Georgia, passenger numbers had dropped to 230,000 by 1998.[8]

Tbilisi International Airport is operated by TAV Urban Georgia since October 2005 which concession has been extended until at least 2037.[9] In Georgia, the company also operates Batumi Airport for a 20-year term since May 2007. TAV Airports Holding, which owns 76% shares in Tbilisi airport operator TAV Urban Georgia, agreed with the Georgian state-owned United Airports of Georgia to reconstruct and extend the unused runway, one of the two runways at the Tbilisi airport, in line with ICAO standards to accept all type of aircraft, including the Boeing 747-8, Airbus A380-800, Antonov An-225 and Antonov An-124. A new F Code taxiway was also planned.

Modernisation

February 2007 saw the completion of a US$90.5 million reconstruction project, with the construction of a new international terminal, a car park, improvements to the apron, taxiway and runway and the acquisition of ground handling equipment and an annual passenger capacity of 2.8 million.[10] A rail link to the city centre was constructed, with an infrequent rail service of two trains per day each way. The airport got a contemporary and functional design, to provide an optimized flow of both passengers and luggage from the parking lot to the planes, with a 25,000 m2 (270,000 sq ft) total usable area, while future expansions can be implemented without interrupting terminal operations. Various food and beverage operations have been incorporated in the new terminal, including four duty-free stores. The implementing party for the project was TAV Urban Georgia, a concessionaire and special purpose vehicle for the construction and operation of the airport, and the project was financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).[11]

In 2016, the main runway of the airport was renovated and equipped with new navigation lighting. Runway guard lights, LED stop bar signals and guidance signs at all the holding positions on the airport's main runway were also added The instrument landing system was also upgraded to CAT II, which enables aircraft to land during poor weather conditions. The airfield lighting control and monitoring system was upgraded, including installation of new lighting signals on all four taxiways. In 2017, a new arrival terminal with an area of 12,000 square metres (130,000 sq ft), integrated with the existing terminal building, was completed to meet the increasing numbers of travelers. The terminal's capacity was increased to 3.5 million passengers per year.[12] In addition to the expansion of the terminal building, this $33 million project implemented, among other things, a new boarding bridge with two exits, five new aircraft parking spaces, three 150-meter luggage racks and a new parking lot for 250 cars.[13]

A new Tbilisi metro overground line linking airport with the city was announced in October 2018. Proposed extension would connect the airport with Samgori metro station as transfer point with the existing metro line. Construction was set to begin in late 2019,[14] but the project was effectively abandoned in spring 2021 when a feasibility study did not produce the desired outcome.[15]

Airlines and destinations

Tbilisi airport mainly serves destinations in Europe and the Middle East. The Georgian government negotiates with several airlines to increase the number of destinations.

Flights to Russia have been suspended since July 8, 2019 due to sanctions imposed from Moscow.[3] Georgian Airways flights from Tbilisi to Moscow-Vnukovo have since been operated by Aircompany Armenia via Yerevan. The Kremlin has also barred all Russian airlines from flying to Georgia.

Passenger

AirlinesDestinations
Aegean Airlines Athens
Air Arabia Abu Dhabi (begins 16 June 2022),[16] Sharjah
Air Astana Almaty, Nur-Sultan
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
airBaltic Riga
Aircompany Armenia Yerevan[17]
AnadoluJet Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Arkia Seasonal: Tel Aviv
Bees Airline Kyiv–Zhuliany (resumes 1 September 2022), Odessa (resumes 3 June 2022)
Belavia Minsk
Buta Airways Baku
Condor Frankfurt[18][19]
Eurowings Düsseldorf,[20] Stuttgart (begins 19 July 2022)[21]
flydubai Dubai–International[22]
FLYONE ArmeniaYerevan[23]
Georgian Airways Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Vienna[24][25]
Gulf Air Bahrain
Israir Airlines Seasonal: Tel Aviv
Jazeera Airways Kuwait City
Kuwait Airways Seasonal: Kuwait City
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw–Chopin
Lufthansa Munich
MyWay Airlines Tel Aviv[26][27]
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: İzmir[28]
Qatar AirwaysDoha
Qeshm Air Tehran–Imam Khomeini
SCAT Airlines Aktau, Aktobe
SkyUp Kyiv–Boryspil
Seasonal: Odessa
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Ukraine International Airlines Kyiv–Boryspil
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent
Vanilla Sky Airlines Batumi[29][30]

Cargo

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AirlinesDestinations
CargoluxBaku, Kuala Lumpur–International, Luxembourg, Singapore, Zhengzhou (Suspended), Taipei–Taoyuan
Silk Way AirlinesBaku
Turkish Cargo Bucharest,[31] Istanbul

Statistics

Annual passenger statistics Tbilisi International Airport[32]
Year Passengers Change
Annual passenger traffic at TBS airport. See source Wikidata query.
2021 1,683,696 Increase 185%
2020 590,089 Decrease 84.0%
2019 3,692,202 Decrease 03.1%
2018 3,808,619 Increase 20.4%
2017 3,164,139 Increase 40.5%
2016 2,252,535 Increase 22.0%
2015 1,847,111 Increase 17.3%
2014 1,575,386 Increase 09.7%
2013 1,436,046 Increase 17.8%
2012 1,219,175 Increase 15.2%
2011 1,058,679 Increase 28.7%
2010 0822,772 Increase 17.1%
2009 0702,916 Decrease 01.7%
2008 0714,976 Increase 16.1%
2007 0615,873 Increase 08.5%
2006 0567,402 Increase 03.7%
2005 0547,150 Steady
Most Popular Routes[33]
Country Destination Airport Weekly flights Airlines
 Turkey Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Sabiha Gökçen Airport 47 Turkish Airlines (35 weekly),[34] Pegasus Airlines (12 weekly)
 UAE Dubai Dubai-International 28 flydubai (4 daily)
 Ukraine Kyiv Boryspil, Zhuliany 26 Georgian Airways (1 daily), Ukraine International Airlines (2 daily), SkyUp (5 weekly)
 Israel Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport 18 Georgian Airways (12 weekly), El Al (3 weekly), MyWay Airlines (3 weekly)
 Qatar Doha Hamad International Airport 18 Qatar Airways
 Azerbaijan Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport 14 Azerbaijan Airlines
 Iran Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport 13 Kish Airlines (1 daily), Qeshm Air (6 weekly)
 Germany Munich Munich Airport 9 Lufthansa

See also

References

  1. ^ "EAD Basic".
  2. ^ "Georgia resumes regular flights today". Agenda.ge. 1 February 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Putin's Ban On Direct Russia-Georgia Flights Comes Into Force". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Moscow ends Georgian flight embargo". France 24. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Tbilisi Officials Name Street After Bush". Associated Press. 14 September 2005.
  6. ^ Baulig, Josef; Maia Mania; Hans Mildenberg; Karl Ziegler (2004). Architekturführer Tbilisi (in German and Georgian). Landeshauptstadt Saarbrücken/Technische Universität Kaiserslautern. p. 70. ISBN 3-936890-39-0.
  7. ^ Sagers, Matthew; Thomas Maraffa (July 1990). "Soviet Air-Passenger Transportation Network". Geographical Review. American Geographical Society. 80 (3): 269. doi:10.2307/215304. JSTOR 215304.
  8. ^ "Global transport" (13–15). Stroudgate: Chartered Institute of Transport in the UK. 1998: 97. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Civil Georgia. "Civil.Ge - TAV Gets Tbilisi Airport Operation Extension for Planned USD 65m Investment".
  10. ^ "New Airport Terminal Opened in Tbilisi". 7 February 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  11. ^ "IFC and EBRD to Finance TAV's Airport Operations in Georgia". International Finance Corporation. 17 May 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Tbilisi Airport's New Arrivals Terminal, Tbilisi, Georgia". airport-technology.com. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  13. ^ "New Terminal Opens at Tbilisi International Airport". Georgia Today. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  14. ^ "A new metro, railway and electric cars: promises made to the Georgian public a week before elections". 22 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Tbilisi City Hall may refuse to implement overground metro project in the direction of Lilo-Samgori-Airport". Inter Press News. 16 March 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Air Arabia".
  17. ^ Operated partially on behalf of Georgian Airways, connects with Yerevan - Moscow-Vnukovo flights.
  18. ^ "German Condor Airlines to launch regular flights to Georgia". Trend.az. 2022-02-16. Retrieved 2022-02-16.
  19. ^ "მაისიდან ახალი ავიაკომპანია Condor Airlines იწყებს საქართველოში ოპერირებას (New airline Condor Airlines will start operating in Georgia in May)". Formula News (in Georgian). 2022-02-16. Retrieved 2022-02-16.
  20. ^ Wert, Jakob (9 April 2021). "Eurowings to launch its first ever routes to Russia, Georgia". International Flight Network. International Flight Network (IFN). Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  21. ^ "Eurowings flies to more destinations in summer 2022 than ever before".
  22. ^ "Flydubai launches Tbilisi flights". gulfnews.com. Retrieved Mar 6, 2020.
  23. ^ "FLYONE | News".
  24. ^ "Georgian Airways has filed for Bankruptcy / Rehabilitation". Business Media Georgia (in Georgian). 2019-07-08. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  25. ^ "Attention!". Georgian Airways. 2022-01-18. Retrieved 2022-02-10.
  26. ^ "Only Georgian low-cost airline being abolished". Report.az. 6 December 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  27. ^ "China's MyWay Airlines Flies Into Turbulence In Georgia". Silk Road Briefing. 14 December 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  28. ^ "Pegasus Airlines to start Tbilisi flights". Agenda.ge. 2022-02-23. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  29. ^ "Flights to Mestia, Ambrolauri, and Batumi - Schedule and Prices". Mountain Stories. 2022-01-13. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  30. ^ "Frequency on domestic flights increases in Georgia". Agenda.ge. 2021-07-19. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  31. ^ "Turkish Cargo va zbura regulat la București cu A330F din 4 noiembrie 2020". 27 October 2020.
  32. ^ "Number of Passengers Served Tbilisi International Airport". gcaa.ge. Civil Aviation Agency of Georgia. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  33. ^ "Scheduled flights from Tbilisi International Airport (TBS)".
  34. ^ "Turkish Airlines launches flights to Tbilisi from Istanbul's new airport". Agenda.ge. Retrieved 23 January 2019.

Media related to Tbilisi International Airport at Wikimedia Commons