Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, Air Astana, has recorded a rise in profits for 2019. The carrier reached a net profit of USD30 million.
2019 was an interesting year for Air Astana. The launch of a new low-cost carrier and the continuation of the airline’s fleet replacement plans, were contributing factors to Air Astana’s net profit of USD30 million for the year.
This was positive indeed, considering the carrier’s profit of USD5.3 million for 2018.
Peter Foster, Chief Executive at Air Astana said: “Passenger demand improved considerably during the year, driven by a significant increase in charter operations and by increased demand primarily on domestic routes, as a result of the successful launch of our low-cost airline, FlyArystan, in May.”
However, the airline was of course impacted by competition among other things.
Foster continued: “While yields have been affected by increased competition on international routes, reduced average domestic ticket prices and the lower value of the Kazakh tenge, this was more than offset by increased demand and lower unit cost.”
The airline’s first Embraer E2 operated its first service on 18 December. It’s improved performance compared to previous generation aircraft, contributed to Air Astana’s success in 2019. Meanwhile, in October of 2019, the carrier presented its first Airbus A321LR at an event in Nur-Sultan. The aircraft will be used to replace the ageing Boeing 757s still in the carrier’s fleet.
Passenger numbers last year rose to 5 million, up 17% compared to 2018. Revenue was up 6% to USD893 million.
The coming years will see further fleet enhancements through the incorporation of new Airbus and Embraer aircraft, complemented by the growth of low-cost subsidiary FlyArystan.