KAZAKHSTAN: Air Astana reports healthy growth

Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s fl ag carrier, carried 970,000 passengers in the fi rst half of 2007, up 42 percent over the yearago period. The airline said it expects to carry more than 2 million passengers for the full year. First-half capacity increased 44 percent to 3.1 billion ASKs as the fl eet grew to 18 […]


Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s fl ag carrier, carried 970,000 passengers in the fi rst half of 2007, up 42 percent over the yearago period. The airline said it expects to carry more than 2 million passengers for the full year. First-half capacity increased 44 percent to 3.1 billion ASKs as the fl eet grew to 18 aircraft with the delivery of two 767-300ERs, two A320s and two A321s. The carrier said its fl eet will number 34by 2014.

Air Astana’s president, Peter Foster said that, apart from the spectacular passenger growth, Kazakhstan also represented a “huge” cargo market. “We are very interested in getting full freighter capacity to tap that market,” he said, adding that the airline was evaluating the possible introduction of a freighter in October. “We would like to operate an A300-600F, but the market is extremely tight for that type of aircraft, so we maywet-lease an aircraft to get started.”

Foster said that at its home base Almaty, the airport authorities had built a brand new cargo terminal, which for the foreseeable future could handle all types of cargo. “We are particularly interested in transhipment cargo,” he said, adding that inbound cargo mainly comprised consumer goods, while outbound volumeswere mixed and limited.