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Air Astana expands fleet

7th April 2010 Print

Fokker-50, a short-haul turboprop aircraft, has expanded the fleet of the national carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The aircraft acquired in an operating 3 year lease is the sixth and the last aircraft of this type, which will operate on the regional routes in Western Kazakhstan.

The sixth Fokker-50 will be used to perform the flights such as Aktau-Atyrau, Atyrau-Aktobe, Aktobe-Atyrau, Atyrau-Uralsk-Atyrau and Atyrau-Aktau.

Peter Foster, President of Air Astana: “A 6th Fokker-50 is our 22nd aircraft and will enable us to base an aircraft permanently in Atyrau. This will facilitate connections around the key cities of the Caspian and enable those of you based in the west to better access international flights from Atyrau and Uralsk to Amsterdam and Istanbul. This will be the last of the F50s, which, although having proved a reliable workhorse since our early days on many of the smaller and less developed routes will be phased out in favour of new generation turbo-prop aircraft from mid-2011. We plan to acquire Embraer-190, the aircrafts of a Brazilian manufacturer in operating lease. In 2011, we expect the first two aircraft Embraer to be delivered, opening up new opportunities for the developing of regional flights.”

This acquisition is consistent with our long-term program to expand the airline's fleet. We would like to remind you that in 2008, Air Astana was the first airline company in the history of civil aviation of Kazakhstan, which placed an order for the production of six Airbus aircraft. Delivery of the aircraft will begin in 2012.

Aircraft Fokker-50 is best suited on regional routes because of its economical efficiency and ability to take off and land at airports with poor technical infrastructure. Moreover, passenger capacity of these aircraft meets current passenger traffic. Also, the additional aircraft will allow flexibility when planning flights and/or repairing other aircraft of this type.

Fokker-50 has 50 passenger seats in economy class and can perform flights at a maximum distance of 2,800 km with a cruising speed of 450 km/hour.