Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, has won Air Transport World’s Airline Market Leadership award for 2015 and in doing so has become the first ATW Industry Award winner from Central Asia and the CIS. Over the past twelve years, Air Astana has brought international standards of safety, passenger service and operational efficiency to the Central Asian market and consistently achieved annual profitability.
The airline’s innovative “extended home market” strategy was launched in 2010 and reaches out beyond Kazakhstan (population 16 million) to previously underserved regional markets in Central Asia, southern Russia and the Caucasus. As a result, Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana and commercial centre, Almaty have rapidly become the preferred regional hubs for passengers travelling within the “extended home market” of 75 million people, as well as beyond to destinations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Travel distances from CIS to Asian destinations have been reduced by 60% by eliminating the need for backtracking.
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund Samruk Kazyna and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.