This is my first flight report and I am glad that I get to write the first report for "Georgian Airways", or also called "Airzena".
I don't fly with GA very often when I travel abroad, so this time I will only share my experience on the domestic flight, from Batumi to Tbilisi.
GA operates domestic flights seasonally, mostly during summer. Sometimes the flights are daily, but in August it's only twice a week. On Tuesday's, GA operates flights from TBS to BUS, then BUS to TLV.
Since the train takes almost five hours, planes are much comfortable since this flight is less than one hour.
Batumi International Airport is very small and that's why it's okay to be there at least twenty minutes before the boarding begins. Check-in counter for this flight is located right next to the gate, so there is no need to hurry. (Especially when the airport is not far from the city).
Still, there is one problem regarding domestic arrivals in BUS. Last year, due to the international flights, passengers from the domestic flights were directed towards the crowded check-in area, and luggage was distributed one by one there.
The check-in area in BUS
Another problem in BUS is that gate for domestic flights is a bit small, and air conditioning is not working which makes it a very uncomfortable place. However, I can't say that the plane was full this time.
The boarding began on time
Unfortunately, I couldn't take a photo of my plane since taking photos of planes in BUS are sometimes prohibited. This time it was 11-year-old Embraer 190, previously owned by Air Canada. GA has three of them in its fleet.
It still had Air Canada's seats, with IFE and power outlets, both of which were not working. I remember last year a flight attendant told me that they were preparing a system for IFE, but nothing has been changed after one year so I don't think they will do anything in the future.
The cabin was poorly maintained, I was feeling very uncomfortable when I saw this next to my seat
Still, the fact that this flight is short can hide many drawbacks.
Some photos from BUS
Departure was on time
My favorite part of this flight is the view of Batumi, which appears shortly after the takeoff
Very soon, flight attendants distributed some water. I believe it is enough for such a short flight.
I decided to go through the GA in-flight magazine, which I think must be very interesting for tourists as it includes information about different regions of Georgia.
Recently GA added new European destinations, due to the increase of Georgian visitors to Europe after the visa liberalization.
Very soon, we started to descend. The weather in Tbilisi was not as nice as it was in the Batumi.
We passed over some old Soviet buildings in the suburbs of Tbilisi
The landing was actually very smooth, and I have to admit that GA's pilots are its highlight.
TAV airports must really take better care of TBS
I managed to take only one photo, but there are other photos posted on GA's facebook account, that show how bad the situation at the airport is (not including the terminal).
GA and TAV actually have a complicated relationship; since TAV is Turkish, they blame them for creating more privileges for Turkish carriers. ( I still think that GA needs a better management since that airline has many flaws that are not acceptable).
New airline in Georgia - "MyWay Airlines", aiming to create a hub in TBS
The newly built Arrivals Terminal in TBS
Batumi - BUS
Tbilisi - TBS
It is truly better to be on a plane for 40 minutes instead of being on a train for five hours. The flight was very comfortable, but GA still needs to make many improvements. First of all, the main reason for the rarity of domestic flights is probably due to the high prices. Passenger's don't really get what they pay for on this flight, so GA must really work on decreasing prices, which will most likely increase the number of passengers, and that will probably increase the number of flights between Batumi and Tbilisi; so hopefully GA and TAV will negotiate on this. Also, even though it is not really related to the domestic flights, GA must really become more suitable for the competition. Other than that, everything is pretty normal. I enjoyed this flight and I will definitely recommend it to others!
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