Flight-Report

Review of Georgian Airways flight Batumi Tbilisi in Economy

Airline Georgian Airways
Flight A9 506
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Embraer E-190
Flight time 00:40
Take-off 14 Aug 18, 15:40
Arrival at 14 Aug 18, 16:20
A9 8 reviews
in20
By 593
Published on 15th August 2018
Hello everyone!

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

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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.

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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.

Registration: 4L-TGU

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.

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The cabin was poorly maintained, I was feeling very uncomfortable when I saw this next to my seat

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Still, the fact that this flight is short can hide many drawbacks.

Some photos from BUS

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Departure was on time

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My favorite part of this flight is the view of Batumi, which appears shortly after the takeoff

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Very soon, flight attendants distributed some water. I believe it is enough for such a short flight.

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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.

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GA destinations

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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

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The landing was actually very smooth, and I have to admit that GA's pilots are its highlight.

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TAV airports must really take better care of TBS
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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

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See more

Verdict

Georgian Airways

6.4/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.5
In-flight Entertainment5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Batumi - BUS

9.3/10
Efficiency9.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness8.0

Tbilisi - TBS

9.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.5
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

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!

Related

3 Comments

  • Comment 459972 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4600 Comments

    Hi In20, thanks for sharing your first report here with us! A very exotic report indeed with a lot of interesting information. It is surprising that there isn't more commercial service operated domestically within Georgia. Your statements about the cost of tickets makes sense--considering the equipment operated on this route (E190 isn't the most cost-efficient aircraft) and the lack of frequency seems to indicate a lack of demand. Perhaps with newer more efficient, and perhaps smaller, aircraft Georgian carriers could stimulate more demand because you're absolutely right that a 40 minute plane trip is much better than a 5 hour train ride. Seems like something like a CS100 would be a right fit for routes like this.

    It's also interesting to see an old AC E190 in operation by Georgian Airways. Maybe I missed it in the report, but it looks like the PTVs/IFE were disabled? It's kind of a shame to have PTVs and not be able to use them...at least for the moving map. That's the AvGeek in me.

    Assuming there was no WiFi either?

    Thanks again for sharing and welcome to Flight-Report!

  • Comment 459993 by
    Kolia GOLD 582 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this nice report ;)

  • Comment 460154 by
    nechus SILVER 597 Comments

    What a nice report and route!

    It's great that Batumi and Tblisi are well connected. Batumi is high on my travel wishlist, but I think I'd like to make at least one leg of this trip by train. Is it a good experience?

    I teach secondary school and a student of mine was in Batumi some time ago for a chess competition. She is barely 14, and she looks at you with a sweet smile. Then she goes and destroys the hopes and the future of other young chess players, and comes back to school with the same sweet smile!!

    Too bad they won't allow you to take photos around the apron. Quite useless measure since you can take them from the plane!!

    How nice from GA to use paper cups instead of those polluting polystyrene foam cups!

    I wish I could read that lovely Georgian alphabet!

    I really enjoyed this report. Thanks for sharing, and welcome! :)

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