LONDON – On April 13, the Kazakhstan flag carrier airline Air Astana announced that it will be resuming its scheduled flight services between Atyrau and Istanbul.
The Resumed Service
The service resumption will commence on April 26 which is 13 months after the service was suspended back in March 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Air Astana will operate its Airbus A320neo aircraft on this route.
The outbound flight KC869 will depart Atyrau International Airport (GUW) at 08:10 am and will arrive at Istanbul Airport (IST) at 10:20 am.
The inbound return flight KC870 will depart Istanbul at 11:20 am after a 1-hour turnaround and arrive back at Atyrau at 17:05pm. The flight both ways will take around 4 hours each way.
The route will be served by Air Astana on a twice-weekly basis operating on a Tuesday and Friday.
For this particular route resuming, it is showing that Kazakhstan, among many other countries worldwide, is beginning to recover from the pandemic, and it’s likely that we’ll start to see more routes restarting in the coming months as the demand for travel returns to more normal levels.
Air Astana currently has five Airbus A320neos in its fleet with a seating configuration of 16 business class seats and 132 economy class seats.
The airline still has a further two Airbus A320neo on order to bring their total eventually to seven of the type.
The carrier also has 11 Airbus A321neo’s broken down as four standard neo’s and 7 long-range (LR), they still have two older Airbus A321ceo’s, three Boeing 767-300ER and five Embraer 190 E2’s.
On top of the further two Airbus A320neo, the airline has still a further eight A321neo.
The airline’s Airbus A321neo aircraft were a direct replacement for their older Boeing 757-200’s of which the airline had five.
Since the delivery of the A321neo into their fleet, the Boeing 757’s were then subsequently retired by March 2020.
To replace their aging Boeing 767 fleet, the carrier is due to receive three Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, but since the order was placed for the Dreamliners back in 2012, Air Astana has continually postponed the expected delivery and we may now not see them until at least 2025.
One of the country’s other airlines, namely Scat Airlines does also serve the Atyrau to Istanbul service, however, this is just once per week on a Saturday, flights DV497 and DV498.
Their service is primarily operated by their Boeing 737-800 NG (Next Generation) aircraft.
Interestingly, compared to most large countries, Kazakhstan hasn’t been as hard hit by the COVID-19 virus with only so far registering just over 19,000 deaths from 1.39 million cases.
Although the number is still alarming with the country having a population of around 19 million.
Where is Atyrau?
Atyrau is a city located on the Western coast of Kazakhstan near the Caspian Sea that breaks up Kazakhstan with Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkmenistan.
The airport is located on the Western border of the city and is served by only six different airlines.
The five airlines besides Air Astana that serve Atyrau are Aeroflot, FlyArystan (Air Astana’s low-cost subsidiary), Qazaq Air, Rossiya, and Scat.