Air Astana, the award-winning flag carrier of Kazakhstan, today confirmed the appointment of Simon Rickman to the role of Sales and Marketing Manager, UK and Ireland. Based at Air Astana’s London office, he reports directly to Michael Whitehead, Regional General Manager for the UK, Ireland, Americas, Turkey, MEA.
Simon brings nearly three decades of airline sales and marketing experience to the role, having worked with a number of international airlines. Most recently he was Assistant Marketing Manager for China Airlines in London, responsible for driving profitability, overseeing new routes and code shares and managing the relationship with slot coordinators. In his new role he will help to drive growth at Air Astana in the UK, positioning London as a major market to grow passenger numbers.
Simon joins at an exciting time for the carrier with a range of enhanced inflight service offerings, including its newly launched Economy Sleeper Class product which allows passengers to rest and sleep in a lie flat position, by combining three economy seats. Economy Sleeper Class is currently being offered on the airline’s Boeing 757 services from Astana to London Heathrow, priced from £1,487 return.
“We are delighted to have such an experienced airline marketer join the Air Astana management team during this exciting time in the airline’s development,” said Michael Whitehead.
“I am very pleased to join the dynamic team at Air Astana in London. The airline has become one of the key players among the world’s long haul, international carriers and I look forward to contributing to its continued growth and success,” added Simon Rickman.
Air Astana is expanding in Europe with a new three times weekly service to Paris from Astana starting from the end of March. Air Astana’s thrice weekly direct flights to Astana from London Heathrow commenced last summer. The aircraft continues on to Almaty.
Air Astana currently operates a network of 60 international and domestic routes from hubs in Astana, Almaty and Atyrau. The airline operates a fleet of 30 Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 757-200, Airbus A320 Family and Embraer 190 aircraft, with an average age of 5.5years. Air Astana was the first carrier within CIS and Eastern Europe to receive a 4 star rating from Skytrax and also named Best Airline in Central Asia and India for the past three years. Air Astana has repeatedly passed the IATA International Safety Audit (IOSA) and is EASA part 145 certified. Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund Samruk Kazyna and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.