Air Astana's new low cost airline, FlyArystan,
commenced flights on Wednesday.
Based at Almaty International Airport in
Kazakhstan, FlyArystan will operate six domestic routes, with
journey times from one to three hours, to Taraz; Shymkent;
Pavlodar; Uralsk; Nur-Sultan (Astana) and Karaganda.
The airline has 160 staff supporting the
business, including 25
pilots and 45 flight attendants, with many seconded from Air
Astana. The rest are new recruits who, in addition to undertaking
call centre reservations work, are being trained to assist in
ambassador roles at check-in as part of the FlyArystan ground
services team across the 7 initial cities served.
Air Astana has
supplied an initial two Airbus A320 aircraft from its fleet under
its Air Operatorís Certificate. A further two A320s will
follow in the last quarter of the year, by which time FlyArystan
should be operating at least 12 routes and will be looking at
obtaining an AOC in its own right.
have been newly retrofitted with 180 brand new blue leather Recaro
slimline seats, featuring red head-rests, the same colours as the
cabin crew uniforms, designed by a local fashion house.
Seat pitch is 29 inches,
but the airline says that it feels like 31 inches thanks to the curve of the seat and
high positioning of the seatback pockets.
ďWith this exciting new airline we are courting a new
generation of travellers. People who typically get around our
large country using the train or bus, or those who donít travel at
all. We are pitching FlyArystan at the visiting friends and
relatives market, primarily. In turn this will stimulate the
leisure market as a second strand, together with an element of
business travel. A number of destinations handed over to us by Air
Astana will suit a different, more price-conscious demographic.
Accordingly, we aim to introduce some purchase options giving
flexibility for business flyers, including offering refunds or the
ability to change tickets, albeit at higher tariffs,Ē said Tim
Jordan, Head of FlyArystan.
with 5kg of hand or cabin baggage will not be charged. Travelling
with 10kg of luggage however, will incur a cost Ė dependent on
whether the route is short, medium or long.