If thoughts of soaring above traffic jams to be on time for a decisive business appointment used to be daydreams, now they are a reality.
Astana Business Aviation, based in the capital, has launched the country’s first air taxi service to accommodate numerous requests from clients. Aue (‘air’ in Kazakh) can provide the quick commute for 300,000 tenge (US$1,640), the minimum price for such a ride.
“We came up with the idea after receiving frequent requests for air transportation of up to 600-800 kilometres. As a result, we opened the Aue taxi service,” said Kaisar Shynybayev, director of Astana Business Aviation.
The company aircraft can transport groups of up to 12 persons, with the price depending on factors, such as distance, number of passengers and aircraft model. The company uses 16 Eurocopter helicopters assembled in Kazakhstan, seven MI-8 Russian helicopters and three Robinson helicopters.
“The Aue taxi service needs at least a half-day notice during the summer and 24-hour notice during winter season prior to the flight time. The clients need to be in a good physical condition. An agreement must be signed between the company and the client prior to using the service, which will make the passenger responsible for his or her own health,” indicated the press statement on the company’s web site.
According to representatives of Aue, the aircraft may land on any flat terrain. It doesn’t require landing at an airport, which makes the taxi very mobile and convenient.
Such services already exist in the world. In 2001, air taxi operations were popularised in the United States.