On October 11, Sputnik Georgia published an article with a headline “Flights in Georgia: Passenger Flow in Georgian Airports Plummets”. Although the headline creates a perception that the flow of passengers decreased, the article demonstrates different figures - a 5.4% increase, in fact, based on Georgian Civil Aviation Agency (GCAA) data.
The article discusses the figures of the first nine months of 2019, when the number of passengers received by all airports of Georgia increased by 5.4%. Namely, Tbilisi International Airport experienced a 0.68% increase, Batumi Airport – a 2.01% increase, and Kutaisi Airport – a 39.79% increase.
Sputnik article mentions the Facebook page of GCAA as the source. The information about the passenger flow was posted on the Facebook page several hours before the article was published. The statement by GCAA mentions that the 5.4% increase in the passenger flow is higher than the figure from the analogous period from the previous year, but is by 9-10% lower than the forecasted figure, which the agency explains by the abolition of direct flights between Georgia and Russia.
Claiming in the headline of the article that the number of tourists in the airports decreased based on the forecasted figure is manipulative.
After the publication of the article, Sputnik Georgia changed the headline and now, it looks like this: “Flights in Georgia: Georgian Airports Received Fewer Passengers than Planned.”