Kazakhstan’s flag carrier Air Astana will launch new international routes within Central Asia in 2012 with its growing fleet of Embraer 190s.
Upon the delivery of three more Embraer 190s during the second quarter of 2012, Air Astana will start operating new international services from Astana to Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator and Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent; from Almaty to Kazan in Russia; and from Atyrau to Moscow.
Air Astana began operating its first Embraer 190 in April 2011. The three Embraer 190s it currently flies operate international routes to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia; Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan; Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan; Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan; Samara in Russia; and nine domestic routes.
“Air Astana’s strategic plan to develop a network of services serving destinations in Central Asia, southern Russia and western China from hubs in Almaty and Astana has been a tremendous success over the past three years, says Peter Foster, president of Air Astana. “Popularity of the services has been further boosted following the introduction [of the] Embraer 190 aircraft on the network earlier this year and passengers can now look forward more new destinations in 2012.”
Air Astana says it selected the Embraer 190 for its advanced design, passenger comfort and operating efficiency, the type offering low maintenance costs and fuel burn. In Air Astana service, the Embraer 190 is configured in a two class, 98 seat configuration and has a maximum range of 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles).
Air Astana currently operates 26 aircraft, among them two Boeing 767-300ERs, five Boeing 757-200s, 10 Airbus A320-family jets, three Embraer 190s and six Fokker 50 turboprops.
The airline placed an order for four new Boeing 767-300ERs and three Boeing 787-8s earlier this month. Air Astana serves 23 domestic and 31 international destinations.
Air Astana is a full member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the only airline in Kazakhstan certified to perform aircraft maintenance to European standard EASA/Part 145. In September 2011, Air Astana passed its third IATA Operational Safety Audit, without any negative findings.
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