In H1 2012, Kazakhstan’s Air Astana saw its
revenues grow by 13% to US$394 million, matched by a similar
increase in passenger numbers, although net profit declined to
Capacity grew by 11% with the addition of an
additional Boeing 757-200 and three additional Embraer 190s.
The fleet size now stands at 26 aircraft
after the retirement of three of its six Fokker 50s, with the
remainder due for retirement by January 2013 and replacement by
two additional Embraer 190s.
New routes were launched from Astana to Omsk in
southeast Russia, from Astana to Tashkent and Baku, from Astana to
Shymkent and Aktau in southern and western Kazakhstan, and from
Almaty to Kazan in southern Russia.
Planned new routes for the second half
include Almaty to Hong Kong, Almaty to Ho Chi Minh, and Atyrau to
Flights from Astana to Beijing will be added to
its existing Almaty to Beijing services.
The airline will take delivery of four new
Airbus A320s and two new A321s from November 2012 to May 2013, and
recently placed an order for four new Boeing 767-300s and three
Boeing 787-8s, to be delivered from November 2013 through 2017.
“The first half was challenging due to fuel
price increases of more than 140% over the same period last year.
The first quarter in particular was very tough,” said
Foster, President of Air Astana. “The second half, traditionally
our strong period, is looking more promising as fuel prices have
come off slightly and cost savings in other areas kick in. All
markets with the exception of Europe continue to grow and we are
confident of a 10th straight year of profitability. In particular
our ‘extended home market strategy’ of developing routes to and
from our near neighbours continues to gather pace. These markets
are small but have terrific growth potential. I am also pleased
that despite these difficult conditions we have been able to
strengthen our product and service reputation, confirmed by the
recent Skytrax awards.”