As a result of strong traffic growth on its Asian network, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier Air Astana is planning to boost service frequencies on its scheduled services from Almaty to Bangkok, Delhi and Kuala Lumpur from December.
Services from Almaty to Bangkok will increase to five round-trips a week. Air Astana will increase its Almaty-Delhi flights to four times a week and its Almaty-Kuala Lumpur services to three times a week.
Air Astana will also launch a new twice-weekly nonstop service linking Almaty with Hong Kong in February 2012 and a winter-season-only service between Almaty and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in October 2012.
The airline will operate all the additional long-haul services with Boeing 757s and Boeing 767-300ERs, which offer Business class cabins featuring lie-flat beds and KCTV personal in-flight entertainment systems.
“Expanding political, business and tourism links between Kazakhstan and Asia continue to drive strong traffic growth on services to the region, with increased feed from Central Asia into the expanding Almaty hub also making a significant contribution,” says Peter Foster, president of Air Astana. “Immediate frequency increases on existing services and the launch of new services to Hong Kong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City in 2012, reflect the fact that Asia is playing an increasingly important part in the strategic long-term development of Air Astana.”
Air Astana operates a fleet of 25 aircraft, the fleet comprising two Boeing 767-300ERs, four Boeing 757-200s, 10 Airbus A320-family jets, three Embraer 190s and six Fokker 50 turboprops. A fifth Boeing 757 will join the fleet in December 2011. The airline serves 23 domestic and 31 international destinations.
Almaty-based Air Astana is a member of the International Air Transport Association and the only airline in Kazakhstan certified to perform aircraft maintenance to European standard EASA/Part 145. In September, Air Astana passed its third IATA Operational Safety Audit without any findings.
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s Samruk-Kazyna JSC National Welfare Fund and British company BAE Systems, the partners respectively owning 51 per cent and 49 per cent shareholdings.