is an airline
based in Astana
. It is the national carrier
of Kazakhstan and operates scheduled domestic and international services. Its main bases are Astana International Airport
and Almaty International Airport
. Air Astana is the main sponsor
of the Astana Team
, a professional road bicycle racing team.
The airline was established on 14 September 2001
and started operations on 15 May 2002
. Air Astana leased its first three Boeing 737
aircraft in May 2002. Three Boeing 757s
were added and in 2004
five Fokker 50s
were acquired, the latter to largely develop the domestic network. It became the national carrier after the government closed Air Kazakhstan
in February 2004
and transferred all route authorities to Air Astana. It is a joint venture owned by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan (51%) and BAE Systems
(49%). It has 1,761 employees (at March 2007
). The airline recently entered partnership with Lufthansa
expanding flight offering for the passengers of both airlines.
Air Astana operates the following destinations (as of January 2008
- Central Asia
United Arab Emirates
Air Astana has a modern fleet of Boeing
planes, reflecting a vested interest among former Soviet nations in prefering Western versus Russian equipment. The Air Astana fleet includes the following aircraft (as of 18 September 2008
Air Astana introduced its first wide-bodied aircraft in 2007. Lease deals had been agreed for two Boeing 767-300 and one Airbus A330 aircraft, all for delivery during 2007. It introduced four Airbus A320 aircraft and finalised a deal for two Airbus A321 aircraft for December 2006 delivery. Its Boeing 737 and Boeing 757 aircraft will be retired.
According to Air Astana CEO, Peter Foster, at a series of Press calls in Almaty in December 2006, the airline would increase its fleet from 15 to 22 planes in 2007.
The airline is to lease a further two Airbus A320 aircraft from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) for delivery in May and June 2008 on six-year leases.
Air Astana has plans to increase its fleet size to a total of 34 aircraft by 2014.
The three aircraft above were acquired by Air Berlin in December 2006