Etihad Airways has launched weekly flights to the Kazakhstan capital, Astana, from its Abu Dhabi home base.
Astana is the second destination in Kazakhstan to be served by Etihad and the airline’s 52nd across its expanding global flight network. The start of the new service follows the launch by Etihad in December 2008 of flights to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city.
To facilitate the launch, Etihad’s current four times a week service to Almaty has been reduced to three times a week.
Since gaining independence in October 1990, Kazakhstan has benefited from major foreign investment, particularly in the oil and gas sector which has brought rapid economic growth to the country.
Kazakhstan is already among the world’s top 20 oil producers and expects to be one the world’s top oil exporters in the next decade or two, as foreign investment in new pipelines continues. The country is expected to pump more than 3.5 million barrels of oil a day in the coming decade. It also has ambitions to pump up to 45 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year by 2015.
Etihad operates a two-class Airbus A319 on the route configured to carry 110 passengers with 20 seats in business class and 90 in economy class.