This week’s instalment of “Airline Startup Of The Week” takes a look at FlyArystan, the new low-cost carrier for Khazakstan. The article is the latest in the series where we have previously taken a look at Starlux Airlines, Joon, Tchadia Airlines, and Moxy. The latest airline was announced yesterday by the Kazakh flag carrier, Air Astana. FlyArystan will be operated as a division of Air Astana when it launches next year according to the airline.
Air Astana was originally founded in late 2001, formally commencing operations in 2002. The airline is jointly owned by Kazakhstan’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (51%), and BAE Systems (49%). Air Astana has a varied fleet of short-and-long-haul aircraft from the manufacturers Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer. There is a total of 33 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, with a further 25 aircraft on order including the next generation Airbus Neo aircraft.
Kazakhstan’s First Low-Cost Airline
Fly Arystan will be Kazakhstan’s first low-cost airline. Air Astana aspires to launch the airline in the first half of 2019. The airline will initially utilise 4 A320 aircraft in an all-economy configuration. It hopes that by 2022 the fleet will have expanded to 15. Initially focussing on domestic routes, Fly Arystan expects to offer fares that are around half of Air Astana’s. The airline is copying the business models of EasyJet, Indigo, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia. In fact, the Fly Arystan team leader, Tim Jordan, even has management experience with Cebu Pacific.
Rapidly Changing Business Environment
Speaking to an Air Astana press release, Peter Foster, the CEO and President of the Kazakh flag carrier gave comment. “FlyArystan is the result of much serious thought and internal business planning and comes as a result of a rapidly changing local and regional airline business environment. It will be good for the mid to long-term prospects of Air Astana, and we hope, very welcome to the Kazakhstan travelling public, who will be able to benefit from significantly cheaper airfares on domestic and regional routes”
Mr Foster went on to separately tell Flight Global: “While there are no genuine [Kazakhstan] low-cost carriers in the market yet, there are a number of international LCCs operating here – Wizz Air, Pobeda, Air Arabia, Flydubai. We fully expect Indian and southeast Asian LCCs will come before long. It’s clear that LCCs are coming to Central Asia, albeit relatively late. FlyArystan will be the first genuine Central Asian LCC.”
We can’t wait to see what FlyArystan has to offer when it launches next year! Do you think they will succeed? Let us know in the comments down below!