LONDON – On May 15, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, Air Astana, celebrated its 20th anniversary of operations, as well as released its 2021 full year (FY) financial results.
20 Years and Counting…
20 years ago, on May 15th, 2022, Air Astana started its first-ever flight services, of which this was between the two main cities in Kazakhstan, Almaty, and Nur-Sultan, which at the time was named Astana before being renamed to Nur-Sultan in 2019.
Over the course of those 20 years, Air Astana has carried nearly 60 million passengers and more than 250,000 tons of cargo across 600,000 flights throughout its expansive network of currently 64 destinations.
Its current destinations are:
- Kazakhstan – Aktau, Aktobe, Almaty (hub), Atyrau, Kyzylorda, Nur-Sultan (hub), Oral, Oskemen, and Shymkent.
- Azerbaijan – Baku.
- China – Beijing, and Urumqi.
- Egypt – Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.
- Finland – Kittilä.
- France – Paris.
- Georgie – Batumi and Tbilisi.
- Germany – Frankfurt, and Hanover.
- Greece – Heraklion (Starting from June 1, 2022).
- Hong Kong
- India – Delhi, Goa, and Mumbai.
- Iran – Tehran.
- Kyrgyzstan – Bishkek.
- Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur.
- Maldives – Male.
- Montenegro – Podgorica.
- The Netherlands – Amsterdam.
- Russia (All currently suspended) – Kazak, Moscow, and Saint Petersburg.
- South Korea – Seoul.
- Sri Lanka – Colombo.
- Tajikistan – Dushanbe
- Thailand – Bangkok, and Phuket.
- Turkey – Antalya, Bodrum, and Istanbul.
- Ukraine (All currently suspended) – Kyiv.
- United Arab Emirates – Dubai.
- The United Kingdom – London.
- Uzbekistan – Samarkand, and Tashkent.
Out of all of the 600,000 flights that Air Astana has operated to all these destinations, their average load capacity has sat at 70% which is a really strong position, including the past few years of travel restrictions due to the pandemic.
Not only this, but Air Astana has significantly contributed to the Kazakhstan economy by creating over 5,000 jobs, of which all were fully maintained during the pandemic, as well as generating over $500 million in tax revenue for the Kazakhstan Government.
As part of their 5,000 employees, Air Astana has brought in a total of 259 cadets since 2009 as part of their Ab-initio pilot training program. Out of these 259 cadets, 60 have now become Captains of the carrier whilst 157 are First Officers.
Peter Foster, Air Astana’s President, and Chief Executive Officer commented on the major 20-year milestone for the carrier said:
“Air Astana’s 20th Anniversary is a truly remarkable achievement, which I hold with great pride together with every one of our dedicated 5,000 employees.”
“With the guiding principles of resilience, determination, and innovation, we have all worked tirelessly to overcome every obstacle in order to consistently deliver the very highest levels of safety, service, and efficiency to our dedicated customers for two decades.”
“The past two years of enduring the effects of COVID have been particularly challenging, but these principles helped ensure a very solid financial performance in 2021, which positions us well for growth at the start of Air Astana’s third decade.”
At present, the carrier has a total of 27 aircraft in its fleet, broken down as, five Airbus A320neos, two Airbus A321ceos, four Airbus A321neos, eight Airbus A321neoLRs, three Boeing 767-300ER, and five Embraer 190 E2’s.
On top of this, the carrier has further orders for 12 more aircraft, broken down as, two more Airbus A320neos, seven more Airbus A321neos, and three Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner’s that will replace the carriers aging Boeing 767 fleet.
Air Astana’s 2021 FY Financial Results…
In 2021, Air Astana Group, which includes Air Astana and the LCC (low-cost carrier) FlyArystan, total revenue had increased by 90% to $761 million, compared to the $400 million they generated in 2020.
Their EBITDAR had also significantly increased from $33 million in 2020 to now $217 million. The Group also generated a net profit of $36.2 million compared to a net loss of $93.9 million during the previous year.
In terms of passenger count across the entire group, they had carried 6.6 million passengers in 2021, which is nearly an 80% increase compared to 2020. This 6.6 million is broken down as, 3.6 million for Air Astana and 3 million for FlyArystan.
In 2021 Air Astana added three Airbus A321neo LRs, with FlyArystan also adding one Airbus A320ceo to its fleet.
The group had also passed their eight IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) safety audits including carrying out a maintenance C-Check on one of its Airbus A321 aircraft for the first time at its technical base in Nur-Sultan.
Overall, we can see that the Air Astana Group is in a very strong position, not just financially but for the future of both carriers as well.
It is expected that their financial figures for 2022 will also be strong, hopefully, an increase on 2021’s results meaning that both airlines will steadily grow as well as continue to incorporate new aircraft in the fleet as part of their modernization programs.