Air Astana – From the Heart of Eurasia

Posted in: SCMP Kazakhstan Report Started by

Air Astana – From the Heart of Eurasia

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Air Astana, the dynamic and growing flagship airline of Kazakhstan, is bringing the world to Central Asia.

Incorporated in 2001, Air Astana’s inauguration was attended by President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Sir Richard Evans of BAE Systems. The sovereign wealth fund of Kazakhstan, Samruk Kayzna and BAE Systems, the original investors, remain committed shareholders of Air Astana to this day, with respective holdings of 51% and 49%.

The mission is: From the Heart of Eurasia, we are building one of the finest airlines in the world. The airline aims to provide profitable domestic and international air services, at the highest standards of safety and service, using latest generation aircraft from Airbus, Boeing and Embraer.

As the leading airline in Central Asia, 2014 marks twelve years since Air Astana’s maiden flight on the 15th May 2002. Committed to serving international customers, the airline is increasing its fleet size, expanding its route network and continuously improving its product offering by operating at the highest international standards from the Heart of Eurasia.

Today, the majority of Air Astana’s 4,300 plus staff are from Kazakhstan. The airline is the only IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registered airline in Kazakhstan. The current fleet of thirty modern aircraft is to be expanded to 36 aircraft by the end of 2017 and 43 aircraft by 2020.

‘Nomad Club’, Kazakhstan’s first Frequent Flyer Program, was introduced by Air Astana. The airline continues to win awards including ‘Best Airline Central and South Asia Airline’ by Skytrax World Airline Awards for the last three years. With its ‘4-Star’ Airline Star Rating by Skytrax Research, Air Astana is also the only 4-Star airline in Eastern Europe and CIS.

Air Astana operates over sixty domestic and international routes to destinations including Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, London and Seoul. Yesterday (December 15), Air Astana also introduced a new route between Astana and Bangkok, to complement the existing service from Almaty. New services to Paris will be launched in 2015.

The distance between Hong Kong and Almaty is 4140 km or 2572 miles. The flight time is 5 hours 55 minutes from Almaty to Hong Kong and 6 hours 45 minutes from Hong Kong to Almaty.

Peter Foster, President of Air Astana, has held previous senior management positions with Cathay Pacific Airways, Philippine Airlines and Royal Brunei Airlines. In June this year, under Foster’s leadership, The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) inducted Air Astana as a full member.

‘This momentous occasion marks another milestone in Air Astana’s development’, says Foster. ‘We look forward to contributing meaningfully to the work of AAPA to strengthen the collective standing of Asia Pacific aviation internationally’.

Air Astana’s leadership of E-commerce development in Kazakhstan has resulted in the airline receiving the “E-commerce Market Driver” award at a ceremony marking 20 years of internet service in the country. Air Astana’s total revenue of $87.4 million for 2013 places it by far the biggest source of e-commerce in Kazakhstan.

The 2014 Business Insider Airline Survey has placed Air Astana amongst the world’s Top 20 carriers for the second year in succession, with its ranking improving to 12th compared to 18th in 2013.

This latest ranking places Air Astana ahead of carriers including Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Virgin Australia, Swiss and Austrian.

By combining a solid management approach, a young fleet of aircraft and a network consisting of less congested airports, Air Astana is carving out a sterling reputation for providing a quality in-flight experience and an impressive on-time service record.

As Air Astana continues to build one of the finest airlines in the world, the airline aims to remain a proud Global Ambassador for Kazakhstan.

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Air Astana
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