Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.8
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
The national carrier of Kazakhstan, Air Astana airline plans to expand its fleet to 36 planes by 2019, the press service of the airline told Trend.
To date, the airline fleet consists of 30 planes.
The program of Air Astana fleet renewal started in 2011. Since that time, the company has bought 22 planes directly from the factory.
Over the past 3.5 years the airline has decommissioned turboprops Fokker 50 and replaced them with new Embraer 190 jets. In addition, contracts on purchase of six new planes, Airbus A320s and three Boeing 767s, were implemented.
"Over the last year, Air Astana has bought six new planes, all of which come from the conveyor of the manufacturers, including one Embraer E190, four Airbus A320s and one Boeing B767," said the airline. "Deliveries were made according to the plan."
The press service said that the airline is not afraid of growing competition in the case of withdrawal of other Kazakh airlines from the "black list" of the EU and the opening of their flights to Europe.
"The airline is successfully competing with European carriers on routes from Kazakhstan to Europe; it will continue to raise the level of service, and replenish the fleet with modern new planes," said the press service.
The European Commission has repeatedly included the Kazakh airlines in the "blacklist" that bans flights to Europe.
The European Commission believes that Kazakhstan's airlines work under conditions that do not meet the required safety level standards.
Currently, this list includes all the Kazakh airlines except for Air Astana, which had the restrictions removed in April 2014.
However, active work to withdraw other Kazakh airlines from the "black list" of the EU in 2015 is being carried out, the Ministry for Investment and Development of Kazakhstan previously reported.
Air Astana is a joint venture of the Kazakh National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna (51 percent) and the UK BAE Systems (49 percent). The planes of the airline started implementing regular flights in 2002, and currently operate flights on 60 international and domestic destinations. In 2013, the planes of the airline transported 3.7 million passengers.