Air Astana recorded a net loss of US$6.6 million, and an operating profit of US$0.975 million, for the first half of 2016. Operatingrevenue fell by 30% to US$275 million, driven by a signification devaluation of the Kazakh Tenge in comparison with the first half of 2015, and by weaker regional travel markets in the wake of commodity price falls. Passenger numbers fell by 7% to 1.69 million.
Peter Foster, Air Astana President and CEO commented as follows : “The macro-economic environment has been and continues to be extremely challenging for all airlines operating in the region. However we have been able to compensate to a large extent for a steep drop in revenue, particularly on domestic routes, by further reducing unit cost and by substantially increasing international transit traffic between Europe and Asia. The interim result is therefore better than expected under the circumstances. Prospects for the rest of the year remain uncertain, however there are signs that regional economies are adjusting to structurally lower commodity prices. Further development of transit business over our Astana and Almaty hubs continues to be a priority.”
Air Astana recently launched flights between Almaty and Tehran, and will take delivery of its first Airbus 320 NEO later this year. It was recently awarded “Best Airline Central Asia and India” by Skytrax for the fifth consecutive year, at the Farnborough Airshow.
Air Astana commenced scheduled flight operations on 15th May 2002 and currently operates a network of over 60 international and domestic routes from hubs in Almaty and Astana. Air Astana’s fleet of 30 aircraft includes Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 757-200, Airbus A320 family and Embraer E-190 types.
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund, Samruk Kazyna, and BAE Systems from the UK, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.