As expected, more than five million passengers will have used the services of Air Astana and the low-cost Fly Arystan this year. This growth is more than 17% from 2018.
“This year was crucial for our company due to new company Fly Arystan launching its operations on May 1, 2019. From that time, the low-coster has shown good results and perspectives of growth. We believe that together these two companies might show much stronger results by offering people a choice when traveling domestic routes. For example, they can still choose full service with Air Astana or lower-cost options with Fly Arystan. Moreover, prices for Air Astana Group by the end of 2019 were reduced to 13%. Now, every Kazakhstani man or woman can afford a flight and we are very happy to see these changes,” said Peter Foster, president of the Air Astana company.
In 2019, Air Astana bought four Airbus A320 / 321neo, including А321LR, as well as four Embraer 190-E2 aircrafts. Thus, the average age of the company’s fleet is 6.5 years. Also, Air Astana increased the number of regular flights to Delhi, Dubai, Istanbul, Bishkek, Seoul, Moscow, Tashkent, and Tbilisi. The company has launched new charter flights from Almaty to both Sharm El Sheikh and Bodrum.
Other achievements include a very tricky repair operation - C-check of the Airbus A320neo aircraft that Air Astana’s engineering team conducted last month at Almaty International Airport under support from the S7 Technics company.
Air Astana has also continued its ab-initio program to prepare a new generation of Kazakhstani professional pilots. Since this program launched in 2008, 280 cadets from Kazakhstan have been trained. This year, 23 cadets are studying at the leading flying schools of Ireland, Spain, and Finland. It’s planned that 40 cadets will be trained every year during the next five years.
The customer care provided by the company also received a good appraisal this year. Air Astana is an eight-time winner of the Skytrax award as the Best Airline in Central Asia and India and a two-time winner of the Travellers Choice Award by Trip Advisor in the nomination of Regional Asian Carrier. Twice in 2018 and 2019, Air Astana has been nominated as Largest Regional Airline by APEX Association.
Next June, Air Astana plans to launch a new flight from Almaty to Paris and is also examining new tourist directions with similarly high demand. The airline fleet was expanded to 42 aircrafts with 63 flight routes.
Next year, Fly Arystan is going to carry more than 700,000 passengers. Even now, almost 800,000 tickets have been sold, half of them fetched with a price less than 10,000 tenge. By the end of this year, the airline will expand the number of flight routes to 13. This includes its first international flight from Nur-Sultan to Moscow, which started being offered on December 13.
It is expected that in 2020, Fly Arystan’s fleet will grow to ten aircrafts, which will allow the low-coster to expand its destination network to 40 routes.