Air Astana is the national carrier for the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan, having taken over from Air Kazakhstan after it was closed by the Kazakh government in 2004. The company is majority owned by the Government of Kazakhstan, with a 51% stake; its minority owners are British company BAE Systems, with a 49% stake.
Air Astana Destinations
Based in Astana Kazakhstan, which is the current capital city, and Almaty, the previous capital, Air Astana flies to 44 destinations. These are made up of 21 domestic destinations, within Kazakhstan, and 23 international destinations. Astana Airlines international flights are to a mixture of former Soviet states, and more far flung global destinations. For example, you can take Air Astana flights to Moscow, St Petersburg Yekaterinburg or Novosibirsk in Russia, or you can fly to global destinations such as London, Seoul, Frankfurt or Amsterdam. If you are taking a Kazakhstan flight from Europe, there’s a fair chance that you will be flying Air Astana.
Air Astana Fleet
Unusually for airlines in former Soviet countries, the Air Astana fleet contains no jets made in the former Soviet Union or Russia. After initially investing in Boeing, they have been gradually making the move to Airbus planes, and their fleet now contains 11 Airbus planes and just six Boeing. These planes are exclusively used for international flights to Kazakhstan. For domestic Air Astana flights, a mixture of German Fokker 50 and Brazilian Embraer 190’s are flown.
After briefly flirting with the idea of going back to Boeing, it appears that Airbus has won the day. An order for three Boeing 787s was allowed to expire, to be replaced by an order for six additional Airbus A320s, which are due to be delivered from 2012 onwards.
Air Astana is an ambitious company and, in keeping with the projected growth of the Kazakhstan economy and its increasing importance as an oil and gas supplier and a local transport hub, has plans to triple the size of its fleet over the next decade.
Air Astana Baggage Allowances
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive about any airline. According to their website (checked 25 March 2011), the standard Air Astana baggage allowance is 20kg for economy class and 30kg for business class travellers. Cabin baggage of up to 8kg is allowed – maximum dimensions are 55x40x20cm.