Air Astana intends to order 30 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes to serve as the backbone of its new low-cost airline FlyArystan.
The Kazakh flag-carrier and Boeing announced the deal at the Dubai Air Show.
The companies signed a letter of intent for the planes, with a list price value of $3.6 billion.
Since beginning operations in 2002, Air Astana has steadily grown its business from its hubs in Almaty and Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana), sprouting a network that serves major cities across Kazakhstan, central Asia, China, Europe and Russia.
It operates a growing fleet that includes the Boeing 757, 767 and the Airbus A320 family.
In May, Air Astana launched FlyArystan to better compete in the growing low-cost segment.
The company says the new airline has seen strong ticket sales in just the first few months of operation.
The plan is to expand the fast-growing domestic network, with international services to Moscow commencing next month.
“Since its launch in May this year, FlyArystan has exceeded all expectations and it is clear that low cost air travel has a great future in Kazakhstan and central Asia,” said Peter Foster, chief executive of Air Astana.
“Air Astana has had a strong relationship with Boeing ever since the airline started flying in 2002 with a pair of 737NGs.
“Today we operate both 757s and 767s and we believe that the Max will provide a solid platform for the growth of FlyArystan throughout our region, once the aircraft has successfully returned to service.”
The Boeing 737 Max remains grounded following fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.
The manufacturer is currently rewriting software onboard the aircraft with a view to having it recertified to fly in the coming months.