Flights Between Georgia and Russia to Be Resumed

Flights between Georgia and Russia will be resumed on Tuesday after a halt in October 2006 over Tbilisi's $3.7 million debt to Russia's air traffic regulator, reported RIA-Novosti.

Russia and Georgia reached an agreement to resume flights in late February. On March 10, Georgia's largest air carrier, Airzena Georgian Airways, paid $2 million as part repayment of the debt to Russia's State Air Traffic Management Corporation (Rosaeronavigatsia).

The remainder of the debt will be repaid in stages by several Georgian air carriers before the end of the year.

Airzena Georgian Airways will leave Georgia en route to Moscow later on Tuesday.

Two Russian airlines will operate routes between Moscow and Georgia. Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot will fly to Georgia on March 27, and S7 Airline (former Sibir) on March 30.

S7 started selling tickets last Wednesday.

Moscow imposed a transportation and postal blockade on Georgia in October 2006 in apparent retaliation for the detention on espionage charges of four Russian army officers.

Russian officials cited commercial reasons, while Tbilisi called the move politically motivated.

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