Kazakhstan’s Air Astana is expanding its Asian network by launching a new service on January 4 from Almaty to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
The new route follows the start of services by Air Astana to Hong Kong in August 2012, as well as service-frequency increases to several Asian destinations in recent months. Air Astana also operates services to Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul.
Air Astana is operating its Ho Chi Minh City flight via Bangkok, for a total flight time of nine hours. The return flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Almaty is operated non-stop and is scheduled at seven hours.
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. Round-trip fares from Almaty to Ho Chi Minh City’s Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (IATA code SGN) start from US$590 including taxes, airport fees and charges.
The carrier offers flights from Almaty International Airport (ALA) to nine domestic destinations in Kazakhstan, including the capital Astana and Atyrau on the Caspian Sea. The airline also operates services throughout the region, to cities such as Baku in Azerbaijan; Dushanbe in Tajikistan; Moscow, Kazan, and St Petersburg in Russia; Tashkent in Uzbekistan; and Tbilisi in Georgia.
“Air Astana continues to grow in strength and reputation as Central Asia’s leading carrier, with the development of our Asian network being a very high priority,” says Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.
Launching scheduled operations in May 2002, Air Astana now operates a network of more 50 international and domestic services from hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau.
The Kazakhstan carrier flies an all-western fleet comprising of two Boeing 767-300ER widebodies, five Boeing 757s, nine Airbus A320-family jets, and six Embraer 190s.
Air Astana is a full member of the International Air Transport Association and was the first airline in Kazakhstan to achieve EASA Part 145 aircraft maintenance certification.
The airline is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund Samruk Kazyna and BAE Systems, which have respective shares of 51 per cent and 49 per cent.