Air Astana is confirmed to be a title sponsor for the inaugural BKS Air Astana Marathon, which will be run on a course through Kazakhstan’s capital on 13th September 2015.
The British Kazakh Society (BKS), supported by Air Astana, has been organizing 7km, 10km and 21km events on the streets and in the parks of Astana, Almaty and London since 2009. This year, under the title sponsorship of Air Astana, the race course in Astana has been extended to include a full 42km marathon course.
The initiative is the brainchild of BKS CEO, Gauhar Bramley-Fenton, who, after watching a group of mixed ability runners from Air Astana compete in a half marathon in London in 2008, cemented the idea to bring mass participation running events to Kazakhstan. After developing the concept over shorter distances since then, 2015 is a landmark year with the first full marathon length race to be run in Astana.
“Over the years, these events have grown in stature and we are delighted to accommodate the full distance this year. Runners will be able to choose to compete in either the 5km, 10km, half marathon (21km) or full marathon (42km) events; all professionally marshalled on closed roads and accurately timed with timing chip technology” commented Ms. Bramley-Fenton.
In addition to the participants from across Kazakhstan, organizers are expecting significant interest from overseas runners. Air Astana has direct flights between Astana and London, Paris, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Omsk, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Tashkent, Bishkek, Urumchi and Beijing; as well as connections from the rest of its network via Almaty. Air Astana has created a number of exceptionally well-priced inclusive packages for international runners and companions to join the event in Astana. The packages include round trip flights, bed and breakfast hotel accommodation at a range of hotels, race entrance, airport and race transfers as well as pre and post-race sightseeing tours.
“The event gives us an enormous opportunity to market Astana as an international destination, very much as many cities around the world have done with other sporting events. We hope that runners will travel from across our network to experience Astana as an exceptional sporting venue, as well as enjoy Air Astana’s 4* Skytrax service on board” commented Richard Ledger, Vice President Sales Worldwide at Air Astana.
International visitors requiring travel arrangements can visit www.airastana.com/global or email [email protected] for further details on available packages. Runners from Kazakhstan can enter the race(s) online at www.bksoc-marathon.org.uk .
Air Astana commenced regular flight operations on 15 May 2002 and currently operates a network of over 60 international and domestic routes from hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Air Astana operates of 30 all-western fleet of Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 757-200, Airbus A320 family aircraft and Embraer E-190. Air Astana became the first carrier from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Eastern Europe to be awarded the prestigious 4-Star rating by Skytrax in its World Airline Awards 2012 and was named The Best Airline in Central Asia and India. Both accolades were repeated in 2013 and 2014. In February 2015, Air Astana received the prestigious Air Transport World Market Leader Award.
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund, Samruk Kazyna, and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.