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The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, in his speech at the presentation of the new Tbilisi-London-Tbilisi flight route offered by Georgian Airways, stated:

“There is a 47% increase in the flow of passengers at Georgia’s airports.”

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of the statement.

According to the information of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, which is based on a data of Georgian Civil Aviation Agency,

the amount of passenger flow at Georgia’s airports over the course of January-May 2017 reached 1,243,552 which is 47% more as compared to the same period of the previous year (846 876). In 2016, passenger flow increased by 28% as compared to 2015.

 
Table 1: 

Passenger Flow Figures at Georgia’s International Airports

Year Departure Arrival Total Growth Rate
2011 591,086 578,802 1,169,888 -
2012 703,552 688,009 1,391,561 19%
2013 916,660 891,962 1,808,622 30%
2014 1,010,647 983,166 1,993,813 10%
2015 1,136,594 1,118,418 2,255,012 13%
2016 1,446,294 1,433,797 2,880,091 28%
2017 (5 months) 625,279 618,273 1,243,552 47%
Source: LEPL Civil Aviation Agency; Georgian National Tourism Administration

As illustrated by the table, passenger flow has been increasing annually at Georgia’s international airports from 2011 to the present day. However, the growth of passenger flow registered in the first five months of 2017 is a record high. If the aforementioned growth rate  (47%) is kept throughout this year, passenger flow at Georgia’s airports will reach 4,233,000 by the end of 2017.

Of note is that of the 1,243,000 passengers who arrived in the first five months of 2017, 917,000 (73%) were international travelers whilst 326,000 (27%) were citizens of Georgia.

Of Georgia’s international airports, the highest amount of passenger flow was registered at Tbilisi’s airport (1,033,000). Kutaisi’s airport is second (146,000) whilst Batumi’s airport is third (63,000) in terms of passenger flow.

Conclusion

In January-May 2017, Georgia’s international airports were visited by 1,243,552 passengers which is 47% more as compared to the same period of the previous year (846 876). Of these passengers, 73% were international visitors. If we take a look at the growth trend, we will see that this is the highest growth rate in terms of passenger flow from 2011 to the present day.

FactCheck concludes that Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s statement is TRUE.

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