Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s award-winning flag carrier, has reported an operating profit of $97.7 million in 2014, an increase of 35% over 2013 and the highest in the company’s 13 year history. Net profit fell by 62% to $19.3 million owing to a one-off revaluation of external debt of $49 million caused by the devaluation of the Kazakh tengue by 19% in February.
Passenger traffic rose by 3% to 3.8 million, whilst revenue fell by 3% to $932.9 million. Commenting on the result, President and CEO Peter Foster stated: “2014 was a good year considering the tengue devaluation and uncertainty in the region following the sanctions imposed on Russia, our largest market after Kazakhstan. The excellent operating result was a result of a 7% drop in unit cost and a rise in transit business to and from the region.” He also stated that continued regional political and economic uncertainty would lead to 2015 being a difficult year.
In 2014 the airline took delivery of three Airbus A320s, one Embraer 190 and two Boeing 767s, mostly replacement aircraft, to achieve an average fleet age of 5.5 years, the youngest in the region. Air Astana was awarded Best Airline Central Asia and India for the third consecutive year at the Skytrax Global Awards ceremony at the Farnborough Air Show in July last year and became the 16th member of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines at the AAPA annual general meeting held in Tokyo in November.
Air Astana is continuing to expand into Europe this year. A new three times weekly service from Kazakhstan’s capital Astana to Paris CDG commences on March 29th, 2015, complementing links to London Heathrow (Astana and Almaty), Frankfurt and Amsterdam.
Air Astana commenced regular flight operations on 15th May 2002 and currently operates a network of 60 international and domestic routes from hubs in Astana, Almaty and Atyrau. The airline operates a fleet of 30 Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 757-200, Airbus A320 Family and Embraer 190 aircraft. Air Astana has repeatedly passed the IATA International Safety Audit (IOSA) and is EASA Part 145 certified.
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund Samruk Kazyna and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.