Kazakhstan’s Air Astana resumes some domestic flight operations
Kazakh flag carrier maintains positive future outlook
In common with carriers around the world, Air Astana faces challenges as it slowly restarts operations against the backdrop of the continuing global health crisis. Kazakh flag carrier is marking its 18th anniversary with the resumption of some domestic services, and expects to be operating approximately 30% of its pre-crisis network by the end of May.
The airline entered into the crisis in March after a stronger?performance in 2019, with a net profit of just over US$30 million?on revenue?of approximately?US$900 million. Passenger numbers increased by 17% to over 5 million during the year,?including?a?significant?contribution from?its recently-launched?low-cost airline, FlyArystan,?from?May 2019.
Air Astana continued to modernise its fleet over the past 12 months, with the first of?eight?Airbus A321LR aircraft entering service in October 2019. The?LR?will replace Boeing 757-200s?and Boeing 767-300s?on international services to Asia and Europe, with the current situation accelerating?that?process. The airline also took delivery of additional Embraer E190-E2 aircraft during the year, which will replace earlier generation Embraer 190s on regional services across Central Asia?and?the Caucasus and on?smaller?domestic?routes.
Air Astana strengthened co-operation with S7 Siberian Airlines, a leading Russian carrier, with a codeshare agreement?from?July 2019 and a related move of Moscow operations to Domodedovo Airport in?October?2019.
“Over the past 18 years Air Astana has?established itself as?a?strong and?successful airline, with a?sound?safety?and operational record and?award-winning passenger service, and consistently strong financial performance,” said Peter Foster, President and CEO of?the?Air Astana?group. “The present challenge is immense and we don’t expect some of our markets to improve for many years, however our track record of strong operational performance and financial results will enable us to strengthen our position in both Kazakhstan and the region when the recovery comes, as it will.”