Air Astana, the flag carrier of the Republic of
Kazakhstan, is celebrating its eighth anniversary today with plans
to expand its Central Asia hub in Almaty.
New services will be
launched to Urumchi in western China; Dushanbe, capital of
Tajikistan and Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan during the second
half of 2010.
Regional services already operate from
Almaty to Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, Bishkek, capital of
Kyrgyzstan and Novosibirsk in southern Russia. Additional new
routes to other cities in southern Russia, including Omsk and
Yekatenburg are also under consideration.
A fleet of new
generation Embraer E-190 airliners have been selected to
specifically operate on Air Astana’s expanding Central Asia
network, with the first of three leased aircraft scheduled for
delivery in early 2011. Airbus A320 Family aircraft will operate
these services in the interim.
“Services launched from
Almaty to Central Asian destinations in 2008/09 have proved
enormously popular with government, business and leisure
travellers and we are delighted to now start offering more
destinations in China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Passengers
travelling from Central Asian cities have the opportunity to
conveniently connect to Air Astana's long-haul services from
Almaty to major cites in Asia, Europe and the Middle East,” said
Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.
Air Astana achieved
a record profit after tax of $49 million on revenues of $546m for
the full year 2009, a gain of 176% over 2008 and a 34% increase
over the previous best year of 2007. This was in spite of a
decline in revenues of 16%.
The airline commenced regular
flight operations in May 2002 and currently operates a network
that serves 21 domestic and 23 international destinations from its
hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Air Astana flies a fleet
comprising of two Boeing 767s, four Boeing 757s, ten Airbus A320
Family and six Fokker 50 aircraft.
The airline is a joint venture between
Kazakhstan’s JS Company “Sovereign Wealth Fund SamrukKazyna” (51%)
and BAE Systems (49%).
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