Air Astana is the national airline of Kazakhstan. Earlier, this honor rested with Kazakhstan Airlines. However, following the bankruptcy and the subsequent closure of the latter, this baton has now been passed on to Air Astana. Air Astana is a joint venture between the Government of Kazakhstan and BAE Systems, 51% owned by the government and 49% by BAE. The airline is based in Astana, Kazakhstan. Peter Foster is present the CEO of Air Astana.
Air Astana was established on September 14, 2001 and started operations on May 15, 2002. It began its operations with a fleet of three Boeing 737 aircrafts and now has a fleet of 21 in-service aircrafts, with the five Fokker 50 aircrafts being added in 2004. In February 2004, Kazakhstan government closed Air Kazakhstan. Soon after, all its routes were transferred to Air Astana and it became the national carrier of the country.
Air Astana’s route network currently includes 25 domestic and 17 international destinations. It covers Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Turkey and U.K in Europe, while it serves china and South Korea in East Asia; Thailand in South East Asia and Azerbaijan and UAE in South West Asia. In Central Asia, it serves destinations like Kyrgyzstan and almost the whole of Kazakhstan. In India, Air Astana flies to Delhi.
Air Astana began its operations with a fleet of only three Boeing 737 aircrafts and at present, has a fleet of 21 aircrafts. The Air Astana fleet, as of September 2008, consists of one Airbus A319-100, seven Airbus A320-200, two Airbus A321-200, four Boeing 757-200, two Boeing 767-300ER and five Fokker 50 aircrafts. The airline has placed an order for six A320 family aircraft as well. The deliveries for these aircrafts are due to start in 2012. Air Astana hopes to take its fleet up to 60 aircrafts, by 2022.
Recognitions & Alliances
Air Astana is a full member of the IATA (International Association of Air Transport) and is the only airline in Kazakhstan which is certified EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) JAR-145 to perform aircraft maintenance. Lately, it has also partnered with Lufthansa to extend flights for the passengers of both the airlines. The airline is hooked into code share agreements with Australian airlines, air Baltic and KLM.