Kutaisi International Airport was to be
connected to the railway in the spring of 2018, the project has not been
completed for 3 years. At best, the new railway station with modified architecture
and reduced total area will be put into operation
in the fall.
Kutaisi Airport was opened in September 2012 and
served a total of 13 thousand passengers in the first year, the passenger flow
increased to 189 thousand in 2013 and to 874 thousand in 2019. Prior to the
pandemic, Kutaisi Airport was a leader in Europe in terms of congestion growth
rate. All the preconditions existed to exceed the annual passenger flow by 1
million in 2020, in January-February as
a result of a 51% increase, the number of passengers reached 156 thousand, in
March decreased to 27 thousand and reduced to zero starting from April. In
2012-2020, Kutaisi Airport served 2.955 million passengers.
Airport became popular due to low tariffs. If a ticket was purchased in advance
, flight price to Italy, France and
Germany was only 22-24 euros, while at the Tbilisi airport only the commission fee
was $ 24. Budget flights from Kutaisi were operated by the Hungarian Wizzair,
which in the pre-pandemic period was the first among the airlines operating in
Georgia with a 15% share.
Prime Minister Kvirikashvili promised to connect the
railway with the airport back in 2017. According to the project, all passenger
trains from east to west and from west to east were to stop at the terminal.
In February 2020, during Gakharia's presidency, the
government approved a project to connect Kutaisi Airport and Kopitnari Railway
Station.In June 2021, the revival of the Kopitnari project was announced.