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Issue #760

03.04.15 - 09.04.15

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Tbilisi International Airport – One of the Best Airports in Eastern Europe

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At the “Skytrax World Airport Awards 2015” held in Paris, Tbilisi International Airport was named among the top ten Airports in Eastern Europe for the second year in a row.

“In 2014, Tbilisi International Airport provided services to more than 1.5 million passengers - it was as a result of passenger surveys that Tbilisi International Airport was named as one of the best airports in Eastern Europe 2014-2015. We are happy that, under the operation of TAV Georgia, Tbilisi International Airport, together with the confidence of its passengers, has merited the title of one of the best airports in Eastern Europe for the second time in a row,” stated General Manager of TAV Georgia, Mete Erkal.

In the survey of air-travellers, the international airports of Budapest Ferenc Liszt, Borispol (Kiev), Tallinn, Riga, Bratislava, Belgrade, Tbilisi, Sofia, Varna and Skopje were named as the best 10 airports of Eastern Europe 2015.

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Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Take Steps toward Green Economy

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Author:  Baia Dzagnidze

Aiming to promote resource-efficient and environmentally cleaner production in industrial sectors, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) carried out a Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) demonstration project in Georgia in order to improve productivity and reduce environmental impacts of enterprises. The first set of RECP demonstrations was completed in ten Georgian companies last year, while the program is expected to continue until 2016.

As a component of the European Commission’s Program on Green Economies in Eastern Partnership Countries (EaP GREEN), the program’s goal is to support the country to start its transformation to a green economy and is also being implemented in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.

“The selection of enterprises had three criteria: they should have been from food, construction materials and chemical industries, they should have been small and medium size enterprises with no more than 300 staff members and lastly, they should have been ready and determined to participate,” Malkhaz Adeishvili, National Project Coordinator told Georgia Today at the conference held on March 26, adding that, usually, companies are resistant to external interference, as they either lack time or have had an unpleasant experience with the environmental protection authorities previously.

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Air Astana to Launch New Astana-Tbilisi Route

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Author:  Eka Karsaulidze

An expected increased flow of tourists from Kazakhstan and greater demand for flights to Georgia, has prompted Air Astana to increase its number of flights between the countries. Already operating five flights a week from Almaty, the Kazakh airline will add two more services from Astana from June 2, flights will be operated on comfortable Embraer 190 on Tuesday and Saturday.

According to Berik Abdrakhmanov, Country Manager of Air Astana in Georgia, one of the factors for the increasing number of flights is the long and fruitful economic relationship between the two countries. “Almaty is a major financial center and former capital of Kazakhstan. Astana is the new capital, which is rapidly developing. With new flights, we want to connect two strategically important cities. Businessmen are doing good business in Georgia and Kazakhstan, and this cooperation has been gaining positive economic sentiment. And our airline help improve this economic cooperation,” explained Abdrakhmanov.

The decision to launch the new route was taken after a long analysis of passenger flow and tourist needs, which showed that the interest in Georgia from Astana has increased dramatically in the last few years. Since 2011, Air Astana has been operating regular flights between Almaty and Tbilisi, initially three times a week before expanding to five.

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Georgia Ranks First for Open Government in Region

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Within the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, Georgia has been named number one for open government according to The World Justice Project (WJP) Open Government Index™ 2015, while globally it ranks 29th among 102 assessed countries.

The rankings are based on the general public’s experiences and perceptions worldwide. The Index presents aggregated scores and rankings as well as individual scores for each of the following dimensions of government openness: publicized laws and government data, right to information, civic participation and complaint mechanisms.

In terms of open government, Georgia, has been ranked above EU trio Slovenia, Croatia and Greece.

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Divan Suites Batumi: Competing with its Own Quality

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Together with Azerbaijani investment and Turkish operation, Divan Suites Batumi  serves Georgian Tourism and its quality service has been noted  by the users of  Booking.com

In May 2014, Divan Suites Batumi opened its doors to guests with 65 rooms, a bar, two meeting rooms and a Spa and received 9.2 success points out of 10 from the users of Booking.com 

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Could the Germanwings Tragedy Lead to the Demise of One of the World’s Largest Airlines?

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Author:  Beqa Kirtava

The world still hasn’t recovered from the shock that the Germanwings plane crash brought to people all around the globe. And although there are still numerous versions of the story popping up across the media, one thing is as clear as day – the death of 150 people will not go down without a windfall of complaints, once the initial disturbance wears off. So, how serious can this get? And could it even result in permanent closure of the Europe’s largest airline?

Analysts all over the world are already predicting that Lufthansa, Europe’s largest airline and Germanwings’ mother company, is likely to face colossal legal liabilities, unless it can prove that the Flight 4U9525 tragedy was not its fault. However, this may be extremely hard, as the evidence which has emerged so far proves the plane’s co-pilot had a history of depression and psychiatric problems, and was suffering from an undisclosed illness.

An international agreement demands the airline to pay an approximate $157.400 for each passenger who dies in an airplane crash. That is, of course, if the families refrain from suing. However, if the relatives of the victims (who, in this case, can add up to a total of more than 500 people of numerous nationalities) decide to file lawsuits, Lufthansa may be obliged to pay compensation fees of millions of dollars. These potential lawsuits could mainly focus on whether Germanwings properly tested Andreas Lubitz before and during his employment. Adding fuel to the fire, prosecuting attorneys can hit another of the airline’s weak spots – a pilot being left alone in the cockpit. Despite the fact that the co-pilot leaving the cabin is not against German aviation law, American news website Business Insider dug up the 1997 SilkAir and 1999 EgyptAir cases, where investigators believed the pilots deliberately crashed the planes, therefore declaring the aforementioned action as “a known risk.” That said, it is pretty clear that if the victims’ families file lawsuits and the airline is found guilty of not properly testing Lubitz and not taking important precautions, then the 4U9525 crash can end up not only a financial fiasco, but as the end of Lufthansa.

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Georgia to Produce Aircraft Parts

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An $85 million factory equipped with modern technologies will produce high quality aircraft parts including doors, aerodynamic surfaces and control panels. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the Partnership Fund, a state-owned shareholder company, and Elbit Cyclone, an Israeli company.

According to the project representatives, with the help of Elbit, the factory will attain all certificates necessary to enter the aviation market. The products will be used by large enterprises of the field such as Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier.

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Modern Greenhouse to Open in Gardabani

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The village of Kapanakshi in Gardabani municipality will soon have a 35 ha greenhouse equipped with the most modern technology, the grand opening of which is planned for April.

The Georgian Co-Investment Fund (GCF), a private equity fund supported by ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, has bought land for an estimated 2.5 million Lari, within the framework of the governmental project Produce in Georgia. Additionally, in order to secure investment obligations, the Fund has provided a bank guarantee of 980,000 Lari, and attracted another $2.6 million of credit.

According to Giorgi Bachiashvili, the CEO of the Fund, the project was launched in September last year, together with co-investor company Richel Group. The construction of the first phase has already been successfully completed. Within 6 months of the start of the project, a 44,000 sq. meter greenhouse has been built to employ up to 108 local residents.

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