Georgian start-up Myway Airlines, co-founded by China’s Hualing Group, has commenced scheduled services, a first step in its strategic aim of building transfer traffic flows between China and destinations in the CIS countries (and ultimately between Asia and Europe), via the small airport of Tbilisi.
The airline, which initiated commercial operations in late March this year, has thus far been operating only charter flights between Tbilisi and the Turkish holiday resort destination of Antalya.
The first scheduled flight between Tbilisi and Kharkiv (Ukraine) took place last week, after Georgia’s Civil Aviation Authority gave approval for the airline to launch several new international routes, including to Amman, Jordan and Tehran, Iran. The Georgian aviation authority has also reported that the airline is launching regular services between Tbilisi and Samara (Russia) and between Batumi and Tehran this week, and has filed applications for routes to Moscow, Zhukovsky and St Petersburg.
The Georgian carrier, which employs some 150 ground, flight and cabin personnel, currently operates two Boeing 737-800s and is anticipating delivery of a third aircraft of the type in early July and a fourth in December. It is also eyeing Boeing 777 long-haul airliners to launch flights to New York and Beijing in 2020. Israel is another country on the airline’s wish list.
Tbilisi-based Myway Airlines, founded by China’s Hualing Group, is targeting point-to-point travel services from Georgia to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and CIS countries. During the first phase of its development, the carrier is planning to initially launch flights to the Middle East and to CIS destinations and, in a second, new routes will be opened to selected destinations in Europe. During the third phase, flights to China and the USA are to be launched.
Hualing Group positions itself as the largest investor into Georgia’s forestry sector. It is also creating a free industrial zone at Kutaisi and is involved in the construction business both in that city and in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital.
George Zhang, who runs Myway Airlines, has recently been revealed as the founder of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider Myway Technics, a business project not formally connected to the airline. The MRO company has already obtained Georgian authority approval for Boeing 737NG maintenance services and plans to add the B737CL and Airbus A320 types to its licence, a move which will, in turn, allow it to maintain Myway Airlines’ fleet and also offer third-party maintenance services to other carriers in the region.
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