Air Astana posts record profit in 2010
Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s principal airline, has announced a record pre-tax profit of US$96.4 million (unaudited) in 2010, up 59% from 2009, on sales of US$656 million. Total capacity increased by 8% and the number of passengers carried increased by 13% to 2.57 million.
New routes were added to St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg in Russia, Dushanbe in Tajikistan and Tashkent in Uzbekistan. The airline now operates a large network of routes within Kazakhstan, Central Asia and Southeast Russia to complement its growing intercontinental network. Flights to Frankfurt, Istanbul, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Urumqi were all increased during 2010.
The airline also installed lie-flat sleeper seats and the KCTV personal entertainment system in its long-haul Business Class cabins last year.
“It is hard to imagine how trading conditions could have been better in 2010″, stated Air Astana President Peter Foster, “with costs for much of the year at post-recession levels but with substantially healthier markets from March onwards. We don’t expect conditions to be so benign in 2011. However we will continue to expand our Central Asian network with the introduction of the Embraer 190s in April. We expect to further consolidate our position as the region’s leader in terms of network and service.”
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna (51%) and BAE Systems PLC (49%). It operates 22 aircraft on 24 domestic and 27 international routes.