Kazakhstan's Air Astana records rise in revenue, passenger transportation
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 2
By Nigar Guliyeva - Trend:
Kazakhstan's Air Astana recorded passenger growth of 12 percent and revenue growth of 22 percent in 2017 after negative growth in both 2015 and 2016, the company said in a message Feb. 2.
The airline transported 4.2 million passengers in 2017.
The air freight transportation also grew 30 percent, while capacity grew 7 percent, with new routes added between Astana and Delhi and Astana and Kiev, and increased frequencies of flights to London, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Istanbul, Dubai, Beijing, Urumqi, Seoul and Bangkok.
Air Astana added that it received its second Airbus 320 family NEO, an A321, and confirmed an order for five Embraer new-generation E2 regional jets, with deliveries starting in October 2018, bringing its total outstanding aircraft orders to 23 (15 A320neo family aircraft, five Embraer-190 E2s, three Boeing 787s).
In his comments Air Astana President & CEO Peter Foster pointed to Astana EXPO 2017 and increased transit business through the new terminal at the Nursultan Nazarbayev Airport in Astana as the main growth drivers.
"Transit business grew by 58 percent and is now 12 percent of total business. Our comparatively low unit cost has enabled us to successfully grow this business segment by being competitive in key overseas markets, such as Russia, China, India and the EU, and smaller high growth markets such as Ukraine, Georgia and Uzbekistan."
Whilst growth is expected to continue into 2018, Foster cautioned that “the industry is operating at peak or near-peak capacity now in most regions, and costs - fuel, airport and other user charges, staff costs etc. - are under pressure. Cost control, whilst maintaining quality standards, will be the key challenge in the coming period."
Air Astana was incorporated in late 2001 and its first flight was in May 2002. Today, Air Astana operates a fleet of 32 western aircraft with an average age of 8.23 years. The company performs flights to over 60 domestic and international destinations.