The FINANCIAL -- On 1 November, 2007, air-ticket prices for all international flights increased in Georgia by GEL 20-30. In accordance with International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements, the tickets should be sold in EUR. As a result, all air companies operating in Georgia and providing international flights had to transfer ticket prices from USD to EUR.
According to National Bank of Georgia, on November 2, 2007, the exchange rate was USD 1, 6224 - GEL 1 and EUR 2, 3416 - GEL 1.
All leading airline companies represented in Georgia: Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Ukraine Intl Airlines, UM Air and Georgian Airways increased their ticket prices as of November 1, 2007, BusinessTravelCom representatives said.
According to Nino Giorgobiani, the Head of Marketing of Georgian Airways, airline companies have not increased their ticket prices.
“The International Air Transport Association (IATA) decided that tickets must be sold in EUR. IATA is a global trade organization, one of the world’s most dynamic industries in air transport and it regulates the special terms in this field. Really prices did not change that greatly,” Giorgobiani added.
According to Georgian travel agencies prices have increased, but not by very much.
According to Tina Zaldastanishvili, the Head of Levon Travel Agency, tickets price rise was not the concrete decision of any specific airline company.
“It is a global phenomenon, the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) decision to transfer ticket prices from USD to EUR in CIS countries, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, caused the rise in prices in Georgia,” Zaldastanishvili added.
According to Irakli Lominadze, Manager of Avia Service (Travel Agency), airline companies will fix their ticket prices by selling them in the currency EUR.
“The USD currency is dropping day by day and has caused air tickets to cost lower in GEL. IATA’s decision will help air line companies to fix ticket prices,” Lominadze declared to The FINANCIAL.
“Price increasing will not hit the sales index, as the passengers will pay the grown price as well. Travel agencies will have problems with their customers, as agencies have to clarify the details for them. Prices have increased by 5-10%,” Lominadze added.
According to Ella Karapetian, the Head of BusinessTravelCom, the price of a Tbilisi-Kiev one way ticket increased from GEL 400 to GEL 422. A round trip ticket of Tbilisi-Kiev-Tbilisi cost GEL 626 and has increased to GEL 632 (according to National Airways), though Tbilisi-Kiev-Tbilisi costs GEL 659 via Ukraine Intl Airlines, UM Air.
“Airzena had special tariffs on direct flights: Tbilisi-Paris, Tbilisi-Vienna, Tbilisi-Tel-Aviv, Tbilisi-Frankfurt. These flights used to cost GEL 485, but as a result of the special tariffs have also increased up to GEL 536,” Karapetian added.