LONDON – Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, has signed an agreement with Air Lease Corporation for the long-term lease of three new wide-body Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The leased aircraft are scheduled to begin arriving from the first half of 2025.
Air Astana statements
Peter Foster, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Astana, commented: “The Boeing 787-9 is an important aircraft to Air Astana’s fleet modernization as we expand our routes and focus on passenger experience.”
“The Dreamliner offers fuel-efficiency and range flexibility that will greatly add to our growing fleet operations.”
Steven Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation, added: “We are pleased to announce this lease placement for three new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with Air Astana today.”
“These aircraft will greatly enhance Air Astana’s long-range network capabilities and passenger comfort as the airline expands international routes from Kazakhstan.”
Recent fleet additions
The Air Astana Group successfully continues upgrading its fleet. Currently, the Group’s fleet consists of 40 aircraft with an average age of 5.2 years.
Since the beginning of the year, Air Astana has added two brand new A321LRs to its fleet with one more expected to be delivered in the coming months.
Air Astana’s LCC subsidiary, FlyArystan, has also added two Airbus aircraft to its fleet with two more expected to be added by the end of the year.
Service resumptions and winter scheduling
Off the back of strong passenger growth in 2022, Air Astana laid out the groundwork for its longer term expansion in August.
The Kazakh airline has re-inaugurated some route services in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the carrier announced the resumption of its Beijing service after a two and a half year hiatus.
Last month saw the airline announce the resumption of services from Almaty to Bangkok, with a daily service to begin operating with its Airbus A321LR aircraft.
Air Astana has now also switched to a winter flight schedule effective until 25th March 2023, with operations on 27 international and 15 domestic routes.
The winter schedule sees flight frequencies to a number of popular year-round destinations increased, including Atyrau to Istanbul (three per week), Almaty to Phuket (daily), Almaty to Delhi (double daily) and Almaty to the Maldives (five per week).
Flights from Almaty to Istanbul will remain unchanged at 10 flights per week, whilst frequencies from Astana to Istanbul will be increased to seven flights a week. Air Astana also has plans to launch twice weekly services between Almaty and Medina (Saudi Arabia) in January 2023.
A number of seasonal flights will be suspended during the winter, including those to Bodrum, Batumi, Heraklion and Podgorica, but these services will be resumed in spring 2023.
Flights from Astana to Tblisi will also be suspended during the winter, whilst flights from Almaty to Tbilisi will be gradually reduced to three times a week.