Kazakh airline Air Astana intends to increase the number of flights to Georgia – the company’s Vice President Erbol Ospanov states.
In particular, he is talking about the launch of direct flights between Tbilisi and Astana.
According to him, air carriers don’t face any problems in Georgia.
“For example, in Uzbekistan we face difficulties when getting our own money while in Georgia nothing like this happens,” – Ospanov notes.
In his words, the government can help national carriers at an early stage, but eventually they have to move to market mechanisms, otherwise, the principles of competition in the market would be violated.
“If some companies have artificial advantages, it cannot be considered a healthy competition. National carriers can be maintained by other means – for example, the state may become a shareholder of the company, as in the case with Air Astana. But in this case the presence of a foreign shareholder, who will turn the company into a profitable business and will not wait for help from the state, will be the best solution, “- he notes.
In the words of Ospanov, the state may be a shareholder of the airline, as in Air Astana, but it must have a foreign partner – in this case – British.
“It promotes the development of business, the influx of fresh blood in management, objective perception of reality” – says Erbol Ospanov.
Air Astana operates in Georgia since 2011 and operates Tbilisi-Almaty flights 5 times per week, in addition, it has launched a new tourism program Stop Over Holidays for international transit passengers.
In 2013, 35 077 passengers were transported from Tbilisi to Almaty while in January-September 2014 – 30 969.