After almost eight years of reliable service
with Air Astana, the first of six Fokker 50s in the fleet was
retired earlier this month.
Since entering into operation on 27th
April 2004, the aircraft had completed almost 34,000 flights
during its lifetime with airline, serving short haul destinations.
Three further Fokker 50s will be removed from service between June
and August this year, with the last two aircraft remaining in
service until spring 2013.
The new generation Embraer 190
is gradually taking over on domestic and international routes
previously operated by the Fokker 50 fleet.
By comparison to the
Fokker 50 configuration of 50 economy class seats, the Embraer 190
is configured with 97 seats in a two class layout (nine in
business and 88 in economy). The twin engine jet is optimised for
medium range flights, with a maximum range of 4,500 km at a
maximum cruise speed of 890 kph.
“The Fokker 50 has proved
to be an outstanding workhorse in developing new routes and has
served Air Astana well over the past eight years. The aircraft has
consistently demonstrated high reliability and performance on the
short sectors, but the time has now come to replace it with the
new Embraer 190, which offers greater speed, range, passenger
comfort and operating efficiency,” said
Peter Foster, President of
Air Astana’s Embraer 190 first entered service
last year, with the fleet destined to grow to six aircraft by the
end of 2012.
The airline currently operates
a fleet of 25 aircraft comprising two Boeing 767-300, five Boeing
757-200, ten Airbus A321/A320/A319, three Embraer E-190 and five
Fokker 50. The airline serves 22 domestic and 27 international
Air Astana is member of International
Aviation and Transport Association IATA and is the only airline in
Kazakhstan to hold European EASA / Part 145 certification. In
September 2011, Air Astana passed its third IATA Operational
Safety Audit (IOSA) without any findings.
Air Astana is a
joint venture between the National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna JSC
and the British company, BAE Systems, with respective shares of
51% and 49%.