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Airzena Responds to Georgia’s Economy Minister

Airzena responds to Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. According to Iase Zautashvili,  Airzena Director General ,  the agreement signed between Georgia and Russia foresees  observance of flights parity between the two airlines. The agreement also states that neither side should be in dominated position.

In his words, according to the agreement, tariffs must be reasonable, with account of all relevant factors. State officials do not have any right to terminate the agreement arbitrarily and make a decision that would harm the local airline.

Georgia’s  Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili accused Airzena of rising tensions a few days ago saying that the company’s recent actions were of  provocative nature.

“We want the national airline could  function and develop normally. The agreement on 14/14 parity flights per week reached after the restoration of regular flights between Russia and Georgia pursued this goal. However, we are strongly against what then happened – in particular, Airzena’s  pressure on state officials and as a result,  the head of the Civil Aviation Agency was forced to  change the  decision, “- Kvirikashvili says.

In the words of Airzena  Director-General, when  Minister of Economics speaks about  pressure, he should  explain what kind of pressure he talks about. The airline will always raise his voice when there will be a violation of any law or agreement  that harms the airline’s operating  in Georgia.

“If the Minister of Economy of our country believes that a demand to observe the law  is pressure, then he does not understand the essence of the issue, or deliberately  bankrupts Georgian airlines,” – Zautashvili notes.

Zautashvili comments on Economy Minister’s  statement  about inappropriately high price by artificially reducing  flights.

Zautashvili says  that the public should not consider that  Airzena  is a monopolist.

According to Zautashvili, they demand  the Sector Economy  Committee to discuss the issue by the end of the year.

Airzena held  protest rallies last week. The company’s demands are s follows:  to cancel the note sent by the government of Georgia to the Russian Federation on July 8 stating that they agree on the Russian airlines’ entry into the Georgian market as well as to issue permits to 13 carriers  that plan to launch flights in Georgia; to restore air links with Russia, which existed until November 2006 and follow  10-10 parity principle  foreseen by the intergovernmental agreement on air traffic between Georgia and Russia,  to conduct negotiations with Russia in  Georgia to discuss next year’s summer flight schedule as well as  the possibility to fly to other Russian cities, to  separate the Civil Aviation Agency from the Ministry of Economy, to  form a separate entity as it is adopted  in many countries; to dismiss staff appointed under the previous government; to staff the  Civil Aviation Agency with qualified personnel; to change legal acts  adopted by the previous government  and contradicting   the interests of the Georgian air companies;  to restore  Georgian Airways’ flagship status, which wad groundlessly canceled by the previous government.