Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, is marking the thirteenth anniversary of its first flight from Almaty to Astana today. Over the past 12 months, the airline has reported a record operating profit, increased traffic, network expansion, service innovations and a number of major industry awards. Additionally, Air Astana became the first airline from Central Asia to join the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines trade body in June 2014.
Profitability / Traffic
Air Astana reported an operating profit of US$97.7 million in 2014, an increase of 35% over 2013 and the highest in the company’s history. Passenger traffic rose by 3% to 3.8 million, whilst revenue was US$932.9 million.
The past year has seen new international services launched from Astana to Paris and Bangkok, extra frequencies from Astana to London and the re-launch of services between Almaty and Dubai. Further new services will be launched from Astana to Seoul and Tbilisi on 2nd June 2015. Air Astana currently operates a fleet of 30 Airbus, Boeing and Embraer airliners on a network of 64 routes between 39 international and domestic destinations.
Air Astana launched an innovative Economy Sleeper Class product on Boeing 757 services from Astana to London, Frankfurt and Paris, as well as from Almaty to Hong Kong, earlier this year. Economy Sleeper Class provides more comfort and allows passengers to rest and sleep in a lie flat position, by combining three economy seats. The Economy Sleeper Class cabin is completely separate from Business and Economy Class cabins, with up to 12 seats available on each flight. Separately, the airline launched a range of new in-flight menus on all international and regional services in April 2015.
Air Astana celebrated winning the Airline Market Leader of the Year at the 41st annual Air Transport World Awards at a ceremony in Washington DC in February 2015, with ATW Editor in Chief Karen Walker lauding the carrier for its creativity, determination to succeed and its consistent profitable performance.
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 again last year.
In March 2015, Air Astana received the CIS Business Leader award in Moscow for its contribution to the development of economic integration of CIS countries.
“Another remarkably successful year has passed for Air Astana, with continued profitable growth and new service innovations adding to the established reputation for consistently safe, reliable, convenient and high quality air service,“ said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana. “Winning the ATW Airline Market Leader of the Year was a proud moment for every one of our 4,000 staff and serves to confirm Air Astana’s proud status as Central Asia’s leading carrier.”
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund Samruk Kazyna and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.