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Air Astana to expand central Asia network with E-Jets

14th May 2009 - 18:37 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Kazakhstan flag carrier, Air Astana, plans to use Embraer 190s to expand its Central Asia network significantly to include more cities in southern Russia and other neighbouring countries.

The airline initiated its programme with the recent launch of services from Almaty to Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan and Urumqi in western China. The fleet of Embraer 190s has been selected specifically to operate on this expanding central Asia network. The first two leased aircraft are scheduled for delivery in early 2011 until when Airbus A320 family aircraft will operate these services. A fleet of five E-190s is planned by 2012.

“Over the past seven years, Air Astana has established itself as the industry leader in the CIS/central Asia region, with an outstanding reputation for providing safe, reliable and comfortable air services on both its domestic network and long-haul routes to major cities in Europe, Middle East and Asia,” remarked Peter Foster, president of Air Astana. “After detailed market analysis, we have identified enormous opportunities to expand further over next five years with a new network of services to neighbouring countries operated by a fleet of low-cost, high-comfort, Embraer 190 aircraft.”

Despite challenging conditions in 2008, Air Astana continued to achieve growth and profitability, with available seat kilometers up by 16% to 7.5 billion compared to 2007. Passengers carried increased by 8% to 2.3 million. Almost 28,000 scheduled passenger flights were undertaken, with an average load factor of 64%.

The fleet grew to 21 during the year, comprising two Boeing 767s, four Boeing 757s, 10 Airbus A320 family and five Fokker 50s, and will increase further to 28 aircraft by 2013.

The Shephard News Team


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