First direct Moscow-Tbilisi flight in four years lands in Georgia. Police cordon off airport

The first direct Moscow-Tbilisi flight operated by Azimut, a Russian airline, has landed in Georgia following the four-year suspension of air travel, TV Rain reports.

A4 851 is the first direct flight between Russia and Georgia since 2019, it travelled from Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport to Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport.

Photo: Paper Kartuli

Photo: Paper Kartuli

The police have cordoned off the airport, dozens of officers are on duty in the building, Paper Kartuli reports. The departure waiting area has also been closed off to the public. When asked about the reason behind the reason, the police respond with “there is no reason”, TV Rain writes.

Reporters and protesters against the resumption of air travel between the countries gathered for the plane landing.


The police detained several protesters near the Tbilisi airport, Paper Kartuli reports.

“The police used force to detain another man: they grabbed him by the arms and legs and carried him away,” the outlet notes.

The protesters are chanting “Slaves!” to greet those arriving on the plane.

Photo: Paper Kartuli

Photo: Paper Kartuli

On 10 May, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on air travel to Georgia and signed an order on visa-free travel to Russia for Georgian nationals. Azimut secured a permit to conduct flights to Georgia on 15 May. Georgian Airways became the second airline to be cleared to operate these flights. Russia’s Red Wings can also now fly to Georgia.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili described the move to lift visa requirements for Georgians as “another provocation”. Russia’s airlines which are not targeted by sanctions can operate flights to Georgia, the Georgian deputy transport minister said.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.