Dear Air Astana flyer,
“And so this is Christmas” (see the front cover) is, as all of us old rockers know, the first line of a John Lennon song, the second of which is “And what have you done?” Typical of the man to put us all on the spot, but as 2017 draws to a close it’s a fair question. It has been a very busy year for us in terms of new routes from Astana to Delhi and to Kiev, and more frequencies from Astana to London, Paris, Beijing, St Petersburg, Seoul, Tbilisi, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Omsk. In addition we have concluded a codeshare agreement with Lufthansa German Airlines on flights between Astana and Frankfurt, enabling us to access the massive network of the world’s leading full-service airline group. The key focus has been to develop a much stronger network of connecting flights via Nursultan Nazarbayev Airport in Astana, in order for both local and international customers to enjoy a greater choice of destinations on Central Asia and India’s Best Airline (according to Skytrax, for the sixth year in succession).
As we have often stated, service innovation is a constant work in progress as industry standards never cease to rise. This year we have introduced onboard wifi into our long-haul Boeing 767 fleet, KCTV inflight entertainment streaming into all aircraft not equipped with seat-back personal TV screens, a new safety video combining, we think, local creativity with appropriate safety awareness, and new cabin soft furnishings. On the ground we have extended mobile device boarding passes to all routes from Astana and Almaty and recently re-opened the Shanyrak Business Lounge for customers on domestic routes from Astana. With an eye on the future, we now have orders for sixteen additional Airbus NEO and five Embraer E2 aircraft for delivery starting early next year.
It would be remiss of me not to thank the Government for the modern new international terminal at Nursultan Nazarbayev Airport, and for the hugely successful Astana EXPO, which attracted over 3 million people and boosted business right across the travel and tourism sector, hopefully with long-term consequences. As Lennon also said, (allowing for a little artistic licence) “We get by with a little help from our friends”.
A very happy end of year to you and your families, and thank you as ever for your loyalty. Yours truly,
President & CEO