Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, will launch a new weekly service between London Heathrow Airport and Astana on October 29, increasing its weekly total of round-trips between Kazakhstan and the British capital to three per week.

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Flights are initially being operated on Wednesdays and Fridays, using a Boeing 757 configured in a dual-class layout seating 16 in business class and 150 in economy class.

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Kazakhstan’s Air Astana is launching twice-weekly service between Almaty and Hong Kong on August 28, a month after Kazakhstan and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region begin a reciprocal 14-day visa-free travel agreement.

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The carrier’s flights to the major Siberian industrial and transportation center will be operated by 50-seat Fokker 50 turboprops twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays. Two more weekly frequencies, operated by Embraer 190 jets on Thursdays and Sundays, will begin from September 1.

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According to Air Astana, the aircraft order is the largest in Kazakhstan’s civil-aviation history. The Boeing 767-300ERs will be delivered in 2013 and 2014 and the Boeing 787s in 2017 and 2019.

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Air Astana is planning to boost frequencies on its scheduled services from Almaty to Bangkok, Delhi and Kuala Lumpur from December. It 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.

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Air Astana is decorating 10 Boeing and Airbus aircraft with special commemorative insignia and slogans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the independence of Kazakhstan.

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Kenya Airways has ordered 10 Embraer 190s and optioned 10 E-Jets; Air Astana has ordered two Embraer 190s and optioned two; and GECAS has ordered two additional Embraer 190s.

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Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, has marked its ninth anniversary by officially presenting the first of six new Embraer 190s at a ceremony in Almaty.

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