Kazakhstan airline expands network
Air Astana launches new flights to Asia, Central Asia, Europe and Russia
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Air Astana. Its first flight was a Boeing 737 service from Almaty to Astana on May 15, 2002. Since then, the airline has been consistently profitable, with more than 16 million passengers carried on almost 200,000 flights.
The network and fleet have expanded considerably over the past decade, with nearly 50 international and domestic routes now operated by a modern fleet of Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer airliners, and with Skytrax award-winning service on board.
More growth is on the way, with new services to be launched from Astana to Baku (Azerbaijan), Beijing (China), Omsk (Russia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), and Tbilisi (Georgia) in the next few months, while a new Almaty to Hong Kong service will commence in July.
Air Astana placed orders for 3 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 4 Boeing 767-300ER earlier this year, which will contribute towards the fleet growing to more than 40 aircraft by 2020. The first 3 of 6 owned Airbus A320s will be delivered later this year, while the Embraer 190 fleet will grow to 6 aircraft by the end of 2012.
Alongside its fleet modernization program, Air Astana has also become a leader in developing regional air transport engineering capabilities, with the largest MRO facility in Central Asia located in Almaty. It is also the only airline in the region with an in-house, Ab-initio pilot training program, with 35 cadets having already graduated to line flying and another 83 cadets training in Europe and the United States.
“Over the past 10 years, Air Astana has remained fully committed to its founding mission of providing profitable domestic and international air services to the highest standards of safety and service using modern aircraft to serve the needs of economically dynamic Kazakhstan. I would like to congratulate every one of our 3,500 staff for their outstanding contribution to the airline’s achievements, and also to express my sincere thanks to our loyal customers. Air Astana has risen to many challenges over the last decade, and in spite of the difficult conditions in the industry at the present time, we look forward to continued success in the future,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.
Air Astana is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and is the only airline in Kazakhstan to hold EASA Part 145 certification. In September 2011, Air Astana passed its third annual IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), without any findings.
Air Astana is a joint venture between the National Welfare Fund Samruk – Kazyna JSC and BAE Systems PLC, with respective shares of 51 percent and 49 percent.