Georgia’s Myway Airlines to benefit from its first native shareholder

Myway Airlines Unable to secure traffic rights, Myway Airlines has been forced to postpone its fleet expansion programme until 2019 (Alec Wilson / Wikimedia)

Georgian start-up carrier Myway Airlines, which launched operations in March this year backed solely by China’s Hualing Group, has gained a new Georgian native shareholder as a result of the airline’s CCO Igor Aptsiauri acquiring 51 per cent of the airline.

Having a Georgian citizen as its major shareholder is expected to help Myway secure much-desired commercial traffic rights and the launch of international services to key markets in Russia, Germany and China.

China’s majority shareholding status impeded the airline’s attempts to gain the necessary approvals for flights to these countries, Russian Aviation Insider understands. The airline had shown an interest in serving Russian destinations even before it launched operations, as air travel between the two countries remains a very active market. In 2017 Russian airlines alone carried 579,000 passengers between Russia and Georgia, a traffic figure that places Georgia in the list of the top-20 international destinations from Russia.

Both ethnic and tourism traffic flows between Georgia and Germany remain lively, as many Georgian natives work in Germany and there is also growing interest in tourism to the Caucasus country from German travel agencies. Germany is also an important destination in Myway Airlines’ plans to organise transfer traffic flows between Europe, the CIS and China.

The airline is likely to start operations to these countries no earlier than during IATA’s 2019 summer season, as they remain subject to bilateral agreements. Consequently, Myway Airlines is to re-open consultations with the aviation authorities of these countries.

In the meantime, in the winter season of 2018-2019, the airline’s two Boeing 737-800s will operate scheduled flights to Kyiv, Kharkiv (both in Ukraine), Budapest (Hungary), Rome (Italy) and Tel Aviv (Israel). Myway Airlines expects to take delivery of a third Boeing 737-800 in April 2019, much later than originally planned and prior to next year’s summer travel season.

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