Air Astana profit rebounds in 2017
Air Astana posted a profit of US$39.1 million in 2017, returning to profit after its first ever loss in 2016. The airline recorded passenger growth of 12 percent and revenue growth of 22 percent in 2017, after negative growth in both 2015 and 2016 following the devaluation of the Kazakh Tenge in mid-2015. The airline carried 4.2 million passengers in 2017 and recorded total revenues of US$754 million. Air freight uplift also grew by 23 percent. Capacity grew by 7 percent, with new routes added between Astana and Delhi and Astana and Kiev, and increased frequencies on flights to Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Omsk, St. Petersburg, Seoul, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Urumqi and Yekaterinburg. The airline took delivery of its second Airbus A320 neo Family, an A321, and confirmed an order for five Embraer new-generation E2 regional jets, with deliveries starting in October 2018, bringing its total outstanding aircraft orders to 23 (15 Airbus A320neo Family, five Embraer E2s and three Boeing 787s).
Commenting on the results, Air Astana President & CEO Peter Foster stated that “Astana EXPO 2017 and increased transit business through the new terminal at Nursultan Nazarbayev Airport in Astana have been the main growth drivers. EXPO was a great success and substantially exceeded its visitor target. Transit business grew by 58 percent and is now 12 percent of total business. Our comparatively low unit cost has enabled us to successfully grow this business segment by being competitive in key overseas markets, such as Russia, China, India and the EU, and smaller high growth markets such as Ukraine, Georgia and Uzbekistan.” Whilst growth is expected to continue into 2018, Foster cautioned that “the industry is operating at peak or near-peak capacity now in most regions, and costs – fuel, airport and other user charges, staff costs are under pressure. Cost control, whilst maintaining quality standards, will be the key challenge in the coming period.”
About Air Astana
Air Astana, the national carrier of Kazakhstan, operates flights to over 60 domestic and international routes from hubs in Astana and Almaty. The company was incorporated in late 2001 and commenced operations on 15 May 2002. Air Astana fleet consists of Boeing 767, 757, A320 Family aircraft including A320neo & A321neo and Embraer 190 aircraft. Air Astana became the first carrier from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS) and Eastern Europe to be awarded the prestigious 4-Star rating by Skytrax at its World Airline Awards 2012 and was also named ‘The Best Airline in Central Asia and India’ that year. Both achievements were repeated in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Issued on behalf of Air Astana by Euro Asia Communications.