Air Astana is the national carrier of Kazahkstan. The airline is starting to make waves in the aviation industry, most recently at the Dubai Airshow where it signed a letter of intent for 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Air Astana has had a busy 2019. From launching a brand new low-cost subsidiary to receiving its first A321LR, the airline has certainly been making itself known in the news. With the expansion of its low-cost subsidiary, Fly Arystan, and the continued roll-out of its A321LR fleet, the airline is certainly one to watch in 2020.
Fly Arystan expansion
Having launched its Fly Arystan earlier this year, Air Astana is currently working on expanding the LCC’s network. Fly Arystan will, later this month, launch its first international route. The flight will see an Airbus A320 fly between Nur-Sultan and Moscow. However, don’t expect Fly Arystan to stop there.
The low-cost carrier has seen strong sales in its first half a year of operations. Going forward, the carrier intends to keep its expansion going. Hence the letter of intent for thirty Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Speaking of Fly Arystan’s initial success, Peter Foster, President and CEO of Air Astana said:
“Since its launch in May this year, FlyArystan has exceeded all expectations and it is clear that low cost air travel has a great future in Kazakhstan and Central Asia”
Airbus A321LR roll out
Moving back to Air Astana, the airline is due to continue its roll-out of the Airbus A321LR in 2020. Air Astana will begin to operate the Airbus A321LR to London from March 2020. This will be followed by Paris from Almaty in June 2020.
Air Astana will use the Airbus A321LR to replace its aging Boeing 757 fleet. According to Planespotters.net, the average age of Air Astana’s Boeing 757 fleet is 22 years, by far the oldest. Meanwhile, the total fleet average fleet age is 6.5 years.
With its network of international flights, connecting passengers can use Air Astana to travel from Europe to a selection of major Asian destinations. With the rate that Fly Arystan is expanding, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that Air Astana could eye some expansion itself.
The airline is perfectly situated between Europe and Asia. If Air Astana were to capitalize on this location it would have the potential to be able to rival some other carriers connecting destinations in the East and the West.
What do you think Air Astana could achieve in the coming year? Will you be watching them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!