Iran’s Three Largest Airlines to Re-Enter Georgian Market

TBILISI – Airport operator TAV Georgia is currently engaged in negotiations with Iran’s three largest airlines regarding direct flights between Tbilisi and Tehran, the company said in a statement released Tuesday.

Iran’s Mahan Air, ATA Airlines and Qeshm Airlines are expected to agree with Georgian authorities on the resumption of flights between the two countries within the coming days.

According to TAV Georgia, ATA Airlines plans to return to the Georgian market by the end of February. Mahan Air and Qeshm Airlines are expected to carry out regular flights from Tbilisi to Tehran from March.

The sole operator of the Tbilisi and Batumi airports, TAV Georgia is a subsidiary of Turkey’s TAV Airports Holding. It has operated Tbilisi International Airport since 2005.

Georgia officially restored its visa-free regime for Iranian citizens on Monday following a three-year moratorium.

Tbilisi and Tehran initially signed an agreement on visa-free travel in November 2010 during a visit by Iran’s then-foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki.

In July 2013, Georgia unilaterally cancelled the agreement and suspended direct flights as part of a series of measures tied to sanctions levied against Iran by the international community due to its clandestine nuclear program.

Iranian citizens will now be allowed to stay in Georgia, visa-free, for up to 45 days.

16 February 2016 17:08