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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tbilisi International Airport

Tbilisi International Airport, თბილისის საერთაშორისო აეროპორტი, is the main international airport in Georgia, located 17 km (11 mi) southeast of the capital Tbilisi.

The first airport terminal building was constructed in 1952. Designed by the architect V. Beridze in the style of Stalinist architecture the building featured a floor plan with symmetric axes and a monumental risalit in the form of a portico. The two side wings featured blind arcades in giant order. A new terminal building was finished in 1990, designed in the International style. In 1981 Tbilisi airport was the twelfth largest airport in the Soviet Union, with 1,478,000 passengers on so-called central lines, that is on flights connecting Tbilisi with cities in other union republics. In 1998 the number of passenger had shrunk to 230,000 per year.

In February 2007, the reconstruction project was finished. The project consisted of construction of a new international terminal, car park, improvements to the apron, taxiway and runway and acquisition of ground handling equipment at Tbilisi International Airport. A rail link to the city centre has been constructed. There is an infrequent rail service to the city centre of Tbilisi (6 trains per day in each direction). George W. Bush Avenue leads from the airport to downtown Tbilisi.
The airport is a product of a contemporary and functional design, boasting high technology. It is designed to provide the optimum flow of both passengers and luggage from the parking lot to the planes with a 25,000 square meter total usable area. It has the ability and flexibility to easily facilitate future expansions without interrupting terminal operations. It has been fitted with high-tech contemporary systems, keeping passenger convenience and efficiency of the terminal operations in mind, throughout functional spaces organized in an elegant manner. The Food and Beverage operations at the Tbilisi International Airport are carried out by BTA at 7 points with a staff of 75, while ATU provides Duty Free services at its four stores.

Airlines and destinations
Tbilisi airport mainly serves destinations in the former Soviet Union and Europe. Due to the strained Georgian-Russian relations only six flights per week between Tbilisi and Moscow-Domodedovo are permitted on a charter basis. The Georgian government is negotiating with several airlines in the hope to increase the number of destinations. These airlines include Wizz Air and Ryanair.
Airlines Destinations
Aerosvit Airlines Kiev-Boryspil, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk
Air Astana Almaty, Astana
airBaltic Riga
Arkia Israel Airlines Seasonal: Tel Aviv
Ata Airlines Tehran
Azerbaijan Airlines Baku
Belavia Minsk
bmi London-Heathrow
China Southern Urumqi [begins 9 June]
Czech Airlines Prague
Georgian Airways Amsterdam, Athens, Batumi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Kharkiv, Kiev-Boryspil, Minsk, Moscow-Domodedovo, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv, Vienna
Seasonal: Antalya, Sharm-el-Sheikh
Kenn Borek Air Mestia
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw
Lufthansa Munich
Pegasus Airlines Antalya [begins 4 June], Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar Airways Doha [begins 30 November]
S7 Airlines Moscow-Domodedovo
SCAT Aktau, Astana
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil
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