Tag Archives: Air Astana

Air Astana to return to London Heathrow in September

Air Astana has announced it will resume the route linking Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana), the capital of Kazakhstan, with London Heathrow starting on September 18, 2021.

The route will be operated with Airbus A321LR aircraft.

The airline made this announcement:

Air Astana is ready to bring you to London for a business trip or study. We will perform this flight on the Airbus A321Neo LR twice a week from the city of Nur-Sultan from September 18.

Air Astana files a lawsuit against Embraer

Air Astana has a filed a lawsuit in New York against Embraer to “recover damages suffered by Air Astana after it was constrained to suspend operations of a fleet of regional jet aircraft manufactured by Embraer, leaving a fleet of brand-new aircraft parked and empty on the ground, because those planes were unsafe to fly.”

The lawsuit continues:

“3. The aircraft at issue are five Embraer E190-300 regional jet aircraft (each, an “E2,” and, collectively, the “E2s”). The first of the E2s was delivered to Air Astana in November 2018, by and through a lease agreement from AerCap Ireland Capital Designated Activity Company (“AerCap”).

4. E2s operated by Air Astana have experienced complex, in-flight failures that transferred across the aircrafts’ operating systems. Those sorts of multiple, linked system failures are sometimes colloquially called “cascading” failures. The unacceptable in-flight issues described below, including the cascading failures described in detail, constituted compensable breaches of obligations owed to Air Astana.

5. The incidents described below significantly diminish an E2’s safety profile and created unacceptable risk to the aircraft and its occupants. Each required the respective Air Astana flight crews to engage in highly complex recovery actions in order to ensure that the Embraermanufactured aircraft could land safely.

6. The dangerous circumstances were exacerbated by the geographic and topographic environment in which Embraer knew the E2s would operate: Kazakhstan, Air Astana’s home market, covers more than one million square miles, with treacherous terrain and challenging weather. It has only 19 airports that can accommodate large commercial aircraft and thus few and widely-spaced emergency landing options.

7. Air Astana promptly notified Embraer that the E2s had demonstrated an unreasonable and unprecedented propensity to experience unpredictable and dangerous system failures. Embraer – ultimately – acknowledged that each failure was the result of either (i) design or engineering flaws (unknown even to Embraer at the time it delivered the E2s), or (ii) Embraer’s prior failure to document novel systems or routines in the training and operation materials which it produced and delivered to Air Astana. Air Astana has been forced to suspend operations of the E2s since December 15, 2020, and has incurred significant expenses (including lease payments to AerCap) in respect of aircraft that could not operate safely.

8. Air Astana seeks compensatory damages for: (i) Embraer’s willful contractual breaches, having warranted the E2s as airworthy and free from inherent design defects when it knew or should have known that they were not; (ii) Embraer’s grossly negligent and willful misconduct in manufacturing, marketing and supplying Air Astana (through a lessor) the dangerously-flawed E2s; and (iii) Embraer’s continued reckless indifference to the lives of Air Astana’s flight crews and passengers, evidenced by Embraer’s inexplicable and frankly dangerous refusal to take the remedial action that would have allowed Air Astana promptly to resume commercial operation of the E2s. Had Embraer comported itself as a responsible manufacturer, the suspension of E2 operations would have been materially shorter, or perhaps avoided altogether.”

Air Astana to launch flights to Montenegro

Delivered on July 28, 2018

Air Astana will inaugurate new services between Kazakhstan and Montenegro on June 9, 2021, with flights to Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital, operating from Nur-Sultan on Wednesdays and Saturdays and from Almaty on Thursdays and Sundays. All flights will be operated by new Airbus A321LR aircraft.

Flights from Nur-Sultan are scheduled to depart at 09:00 and arrive in Podgorica at 10:55, with return from Podgorica at 12:00 and arrival in Nur-Sultan at 21:20. Flights from Almaty will depart at 07:30 and arrive in Podgorica at 10:25, with return from Podgorica at 11:30 and arrival in Almaty at 21:25.  All times local.

Passengers are required to have a negative PCR certificate issued not later than 72 hours before departure in order to enter Montenegro. A certificate is not required for children under 5 years of age, passengers with a positive result of IgG antibody test issued not later than 30 days, and passengers who have completed a full course of coronavirus vaccination, approved in Montenegro.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Astana Airbus A321-271N WL P4-KDE (msn 8090) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 949475.

Air Astana aircraft slide show:

Air Astana and FlyArystan suspend operations

Air Astana made this announcement:

Most of Air Astana and FlyArystan’s scheduled flights are now being suspended until  April 15, 2020 following the lockdown of Almaty and Nur-Sultan as a result of progressive government restrictions intended to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. International flights will now only be carried out for the purpose of repatriating the citizens of Kazakhstan and providing foreign citizens with the opportunity to leave the country. The Air Astana Group of airlines will continue to operate domestic flights as long as it is possible with the intention of returning passengers to their place of permanent residence.

In order to maintain efficient operations at this time, all passengers are advised to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to departure.

Both foreign and Kazakh passengers affected by flight suspensions through until April 15, 2020 are eligible for refund by contacting refund@airastana.com or by filling out the refund form online. Passengers can request flight re-bookings or route changes up until the end of 2020.

With high call volumes being experienced, passengers requesting refunds or re-booking are kindly requested to postpone calls to Air Astana’s Information and Reservation Center until no earlier than 72 hours before departure, in order that operators can attend to the most urgent passenger requests.

Air Astana aircraft photo gallery:

Air Astana adds a second Airbus A321LR

Air Astana made this announcement:

Air Astana continues to modernise its fleet with the delivery of the second Airbus A321LR under an operating lease agreement covering five aircraft with Air Lease Corporation of the United States. Along with the first Airbus A321LR delivered in September 2019, the newest aircraft will primarily operate on routes to London, Paris, Moscow and Istanbul. Air Astana was the first airline in the CIS to take delivery of the Airbus A321LR.

Airbus A321LR aircraft are configured with 16 Business class seats and 150 Economy class seats. The lie-flat business class seats are equipped with individual 16-inch screens, with four of 16 seats offering additional personal space. Economy class features Recaro seats with individual 10-inch screens.

Air Astana is also scheduled to take delivery three new Airbus A320neo in the next few months, with all aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney engines.

Air Astana currently operates 19 Airbus aircraft, including eight A320s, two A321s, three A320neo, four A321neo and two A321LR, with another nine Airbus aircraft scheduled for delivery in the coming years.

Air Astana aircraft photo gallery:

Air Astana intends to order 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes for FlyArystan

Boeing has made this announcement:

Air Astana intends to order 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes to serve as the backbone of its new low-cost airline FlyArystan, the Kazakh flag carrier and Boeing announced at the Dubai Airshow. The companies today signed a letter of intent for the 30 airplanes with a list price value of $3.6 billion.

Since beginning operations in May 2002, Air Astana has steadily grown its business from its hubs in Almaty and Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana), sprouting a network that serves major cities across Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Asia, China, Europe and Russia. It operates a growing fleet that includes the Boeing 757, 767 and the Airbus A320 family.

In May, Air Astana launched FlyArystan to better compete in the growing low-cost segment. The company says the new airline has seen strong ticket sales in just the first few months of operation. The plan is to expand the fast growing domestic network, with international services to Moscow commencing next month.


Air Astana takes delivery of its first Airbus A321LR

Airbus has made this announcement:

Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321LR on lease from Air Lease Corporation. The A321LR will join Air Astana’s Airbus fleet of 18 Airbus aircraft (eight A320s, four A321s, three A320neo and three A321neo).

Powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, Air Astana’s A321LR comprises 166 seats in a two-class configuration (16 Business Full lie Flat and 150 economy class seats) offering premium wide-body comfort in a single-aisle aircraft cabin. With this new A321LR, the Kazakhstan flag carrier will continue its strategy of growth and network expansion to European destinations as well as routes to Asia.

The A321LR is a Long Range (LR) version of the best selling A320neo Family and provides airlines with the flexibility to fly long-range operations of up to 4,000nm (7,400km) and to tap into new long-haul markets, which were not previously accessible with single-aisle aircraft.

Photo: Airbus.

Air Astana takes delivery of its first Embraer E190-E2

Air Astana made this announcement on social media:

Air Astana’s “Snow leopard” has started its journey! Meet the new improved Embraer E190-E2 with its special livery, which arrived in Kazakhstan on December 2 from Brazil.

This is the first of five Embraer E190-E2 aircraft scheduled to be delivered to Air Astana to replace the older Embraer E190s in the fleet.

The new aircraft features a special Air Astana “Snow Leopard” livery, which is intended to draw global attention to the threat of extinction faced by this large wild cat, which is a native of the mountain ranges in southern Kazakhstan.

Note: The first E190-E2 is registered as P4-KHA (msn 19020012).

Update: On December 14, 2018 Embraer made this announcement:

Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, presented its first E190-E2 jet in a ceremony held today in Astana.

The airline will receive four additional E190-E2s next year, with the last of the five aircraft, leased by AerCap, being delivered in the final quarter of 2019.

The Kazakhstan airline will start flying the new aircraft on domestic and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) routes later this month.

Air Astana’s first E190-E2 features a “snow leopard” livery, designed and hand painted by Embraer in the ‘Profit Hunter’ style. Air Astana’s snow leopard joins the now famous Eagle, Tiger, and Shark E2s with the distinctive ‘Profit Hunter’ nose art.

For Air Astana however, the paint scheme is designed to draw global attention to the threat of extinction faced by the wild cat. The snow leopard is an official symbol of Kazakhstan and is native to the country’s southern mountain ranges. Foster continued.

Currently the airline operates fleet of E190s aircraft, the first of which was delivered in 2011. The E190-E2 is the first of three new aircraft types that will make up the Embraer E2 family of aircraft developed to succeed the first-generation E-Jets. Compared to the first-generation E190, the E190-E2 burns 17.3% less fuel and nearly 10% less than its direct competitor. This makes it the most efficient single-aisle aircraft on the market. The E190-E2 brings more flexibility with maximum range of up to 3,293 miles (5,300 km), about 621 miles (1,000 km) more than the first-generation E190. The E190-E2 also generates significant savings for airlines in terms of maintenance costs, with a reduction of up to 25%. It has the longest maintenance intervals with 10,000 flight hours for basic checks and no calendar limit in typical E-Jets utilization. This means an additional 15 days of aircraft utilization over a period of ten years.

Pilots of the first-generation E-Jets require only two-and-a-half days of training without the need for a full flight simulator in order to fly the E2, which decreases the training burden and saves both time and money for the airlines. The E2 cockpit features advanced Honeywell Primus Epic 2 integrated avionics. Combined with the closed-loop fly-by-wire controls, the systems work together to improve aircraft performance, decrease pilot workload and enhance flight safety. From the passenger’s perspective, the E2 cabin features a comfortable two-by-two layout. The absence of a middle seat enables passengers to have an enjoyable flight experience with more legroom and additional luggage storage space.

Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets with up to 150 seats. The Company has 100 customers from all over the world operating the ERJ and E-Jet families of aircraft. For the E-Jets program alone, Embraer has logged almost 1,800 orders and 1,400 deliveries, redefining the traditional concept of a regional aircraft. Today, E-Jets are flying in fleets of 70 customers in 50 countries.

Air Astana to launch a low cost airline, FlyArystan

Air Astana is pleased to announce that it is to launch a low cost airline in the first half of 2019.

The airline will be called FlyArystan. It will operate a fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft configured to an all-economy class of 180 seats. It will operate a classic LCC model, following the examples of highly successful airlines such as easyjet, Indigo, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia. It will offer low airfares – approximately half of what Air Astana offers today – on mostly domestic routes – but it is expected to expand onto regional international routes in the mid-term.

It will operate initially 4 aircraft, growing to a fleet of at least 15 by 2022. FlyArystan will operate from multiple aircraft bases in Kazakhstan with routes and aircraft bases to be announced over the coming months.

FlyArystan’s management team has already been appointed and is drawn from Air Astana’s senior local managers, whom the airline has been developing for the last 16 years. The team will be led by Tim Jordan, a British-Australian national with more than 15 years’ senior LCC management experience at Cebu Pacific and Virgin Blue.

Although FlyArystan will be a low cost airline, with very different service procedures to those of Air Astana, it is to be stressed that as a division of Air Astana, there will be no degradation of airline safety or reliability standards. All safety standards and regulatory processes to which Air Astana is subject, will automatically apply to FlyArystan. Finally, and as usual with Air Astana, the project will be entirely self-funded. FlyArystan will require no capital from shareholders, no state subsidies or external financial support of any kind.

Peter Foster, President & CEO of Air Astana, was quoted as saying “FlyArystan is the result of much serious thought and internal business planning, and comes as a result of a rapidly changing local and regional airline business environment. It will be good for the mid to long-term prospects of Air Astana, and we hope, very welcome to the Kazakhstan travelling public, who will be able to benefit from significantly cheaper airfares on domestic and regional routes”.

All images by Air Astana.