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Air Astana reports growth

19th February 2009 Print
Air Astana, the flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, continued to achieve growth in 2008, with available seat kilometers up by 16% to 7.5 billion compared to 2007. Passengers carried increased by 8% to 2.3 million. Almost 28,000 scheduled passenger flights were undertaken, with an average load factor of 64%.

The Air Astana fleet grew to 21 aircraft during the year following the delivery of three additional Airbus A320 family aircraft. The airline confirmed orders for six A320 family aircraft, with the fleet on track to grow to 34 aircraft in 2014 and 63 by 2022. The operational fleet currently comprises of 2 Boeing 767, 4 Boeing 757, 2 Airbus A321, 7 A320, 1 A319 and 5 Fokker 50.

Additional aircraft capacity enabled Air Astana to increase frequencies on domestic trunk routes from both Astana and Almaty, whilst international service frequencies were increased to Bangkok, Frankfurt, Istanbul and Moscow. A new service was launched to Bishkek, the capital Kyrgyzstan and Urumqi, market town of China.

In the field of operations, Air Astana successfully completed the IATA Operation Safety Audit in 2008 and also established an ab-intio pilot training scheme. Other achievements during the year were the opening of a new aircraft maintenance hangar in Almaty, the 100% implementation of electronic ticketing and the opening of a new reservations centre in Astana. New general sales agents were appointed for Hong Kong / China and Australia / New Zealand.

“Although the global air transport industry faced enormous challenges in 2008, Air Astana still managed to achieve growth in passenger traffic, fleet and route network. In doing so, it remains firmly on track for its long term development objectives and remains the industry leader in the CIS region,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana

Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s JS Company “Sovereign Wealth Fund SamrukKazyna” (51%) and BAE Systems (49%). The airline commenced regular flight operations in May 2002 and currently operates a network that serves 25 domestic and 21 international destinations from its hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Air Astana is a full member of the International Air Transport Association and is the only airline in Kazakhstan with EASA Part 145 aircraft maintenance certification.