Air Astana, the flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, has achieved record growth during 2007, with available seat kilometers up by 42% to 6.5 billion compared with 2006. Passengers carried increased by 46% to 2.13 million, with associated revenue up by 48% for the year.
The Air Astana fleet grew to 18 aircraft during 2007 following the delivery of two Boeing 767-300ERs, two Airbus A320s and two A321s. The fleet is destined to grow further with the arrival of additional Boeing and Airbus aircraft during 2008.
The long-term fleet plan for introducing 15 new aircraft into service was confirmed at the end of 2007, with the intention to order six Boeing 787-8s and nine Airbus A320s in a deal worth almost US$1.7 billion at manufacturers list prices. The first of the newly ordered Airbus A320s will be delivered in 2012 and first Boeing 787-8 delivered in 2016. The Air Astana fleet is scheduled to grow to 63 aircraft by 2022.
Service frequencies were increased significantly in 2007.On the European network, Moscow frequencies increased to 21 per week, with services from Almaty, Astana & Aktau; Germany increased to six per week from Almaty & Astana and Amsterdam increased to four per week from Atyrau. For Asia, Beijing frequencies increased to six per week, Bangkok three per week and Seoul twice a week, with all services operated from Almaty.
Other achievements during 2007 included the launch of the Nomad Club frequent flyer programme, the introduction of online seat booking on the Air Astana website (www.airastana.com) and full e-ticketing capability becoming available on most routes. Air Astana has also announced a partnership agreement with Lufthansa.
“2007 proved to be a very successful and profitable year for Air Astana, with record growth in capacity, passengers carried and fleet.” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana. “The airline is also looking to the future with the selection of latest generation Boeing 787 and Airbus A320 aircraft, as well as continuously seeking to improve the quality of our passenger service.”
Air Astana is a joint venture between Samruk State Holding (51%) and BAE Systems (49%). The airline commenced regular flight operations in May 2002 and currently operates a network that serves 25 domestic and 21 international destinations from its hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Air Astana is a full member of the International Air Transport Association and is the only airline in Kazakhstan with EASA Part 145 aircraft maintenance certification.