While the fuel crisis has claimed another high profile victim this week, the airline’s of the emerging oil producing nations are continuing to flourish. Air Astana, the flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, has today posted a strong set of figures.
Passengers carried during the first six months of 2008 increased by 16% to 1.3 million, with the total expected to reach 2.4 million for the full year. Passenger revenue increased by 26% to US$312 million and cargo revenue was up 30%. Available seat kilometers up by 20% to 4.2 billion compared to the same period in 2007.
The Air Astana fleet grew to 21 aircraft during the first half of 2008 following the delivery of three additional Airbus A320 family aircraft. The airline confirmed orders for six A320 family aircraft during the first half of the year, with the fleet on track to grow to 34 aircraft in 2014 and 63 by 2022, additional aircraft capacity enabled Air Astana to increase frequencies on domestic trunk routes from both Astana and Almaty, whilst international service frequencies were increased to Frankfurt, Istanbul and Moscow.
Other achievements during the first half of the 2008 were the 100% implementation of electronic ticketing, the new Nomad Club frequent flyer programme and the opening of a new aircraft maintenance facility in Almaty.
“Air Astana has rapidly established itself as the industry leader in the CIS region, with a commitment to a modern all western fleet, operational reliability and constant innovation in passenger service. Air Astana continues to perform strongly despite the clear challenges facing the air transport industry today and has a very exciting future ahead.” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s 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.