MOSCOW: A Georgian Airways charter flight left Friday from Tbilisi for Moscow in the first direct air service between the two former Soviet neighbors since their brief war in August 2008, local media reported.
A Georgian Airways spokeswoman said the Boeing 737 was expected to arrive in Moscow at about 2:00 p.m. Moscow time (1100 GMT).
Five charter flights were initially scheduled to fly from Georgia to Russia on January 8-10. But the Georgian airline said the two flights to St. Petersburg were canceled due to a lack of passengers. In all, there will be three charter flights to Moscow over the next few days.
Georgian Airways said Moscow has not yet approved its request to resume regular flights.
Direct flights between Tbilisi and Moscow were halted in 2006 over a spy row between the two countries. The flights were resumed for a short time in 2008, but were suspended again after a five-day war in August of that same year.