Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s principal airline, is launching new services from Almaty to Tbilisi, capital of Georgia and Samara in southern Russia today. Both services will be operated by the new Embraer E-190 on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Flight time from Almaty to Tbilisi is 4 hours and 3hours 30 minutes to Samara.
The launch of these new services represents another important step in Air Astana’s strategic plan to significantly expand its Central Asia network, which has already seen the rapid expansion new services between Almaty to Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, St Petersburg in Russia, Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan and Urumqi in western China. Over the last seven months, Air Astana has added seven new international routes to its network.
Air Astana’s E-190s are configured with 97 seats in a two-class layout and will operate alongside the existing fleet of Airbus A320 Family aircraft on the regional network. The fleet of E-190s will grow to six aircraft by the end of 2012 and gradually replace the fleet of six Fokker 50 turboprops, that will all be retired.
“Air Astana is delighted to launch new services to Tbilisi and Samara, which will help to boost business, economic and cultural relations between these cities and Kazakhstan,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana. “ Passengers on the expanding regional network out of Almaty can now start to enjoy the airline’s award winning service service aboard the new fleet of Embraer E-190s.”
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna (51%) and BAE Systems PLC (49%). The airline operates 24 aircraft on 23 domestic and 31 international routes from its hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau.