Air Astana increased its operating profit by 115% to $23.9 million in the first half of 2015. Net profit was $8.3 million, versus a loss of $36.4 million in the first half of 2014 (the result of a book loss following a local currency devaluation), whilst passenger numbers increased by 4% to 1.82 million. Total revenue was however lower by 9%. Commenting on the result, President and CEO Peter Foster stated, “Whilst regional markets remain sluggish due to currency weakness and falling commodity prices, cheaper fuel and other cost-saving measures have combined to produce a fair result. We continue to expand and have recently added routes from Astana to Paris, Seoul, Bangkok and Tbilisi. We do not expect 2015 to be a stellar year, however our low unit cost and expanded network will allow us to take full advantage of market recovery when it comes.”
Air Astana recently concluded an agreement with Air Lease Corporation Inc. for seven Airbus 320 family NEOs, including 4 A321 Long Range aircraft, to be delivered from 2016. It also won Best Airline Central Asia and India for the fourth year in succession at the Skytrax annual airline service awards event held at the Paris Airshow last month.
Air Astana commenced regular flight operations on 15 May, 2002 and currently operates a network of 64 routes between 39 international and domestic destinations. Air Astana operates a fleet of 30 aircraft including three Boeing 767-300ER, five Boeing 757-200, thirteen Airbus A320 family aircraft and nine Embraer E-190. Air Astana became the first carrier from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (the 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, 2014 and 2015. In February 2015, Air Astana received the prestigious Air Transport World Market Leader Award.