Foreigners living or holidaying in Georgia have fled the fighting too. A group of 200 Italians were flown out by Hercules transporters to Rome’s Ciampino airport, relieved to have escaped with their lives. A Polish plane carried 95 people to Warsaw. A later flight was due to bring 80 people who escaped through the port of Batumi to Trabzon in Turkey, while 86 others were waiting for a flight from Armenia.
Nearly 200 Israelis arrived safely at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. Many of them were of Georgian origin, and were visiting relatives. Most European airlines have suspended flights to Georgia, leaving the Tbilisi/Tel Aviv link one of the few ways to escape by air.