Air Astana Set to Lower Prices on Domestic Flights

Consumers will soon be paying less for Air Astana domestic flight tickets as the company decided on Feb. 14 to slash its fuel fee for domestic flights by 25 percent, airline Public Relations Manager Tlek Abdrakhimov announced recently.

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Fuel fees for flights between Astana and Almaty will now cost 4,500 tenge (US$24.29) instead of 6,000 tenge (US$32.39), Almaty – Atyrau and Astana – Aktau will cost 7,500 tenge (US$40.49) instead of 10,000 tenge (US$53.99) and Astana – Shymkent will cost 6,000 tenge (US$32.39) instead of 8,000 tenge (US$43.19). Apart from the reduced fees, ticket costs can also be lowered thanks to varying tariffs Air Astana offers for short routes within the country. They are determined by factors such as season, day of the week and flight time.

Significant reductions in ticket prices can be expected not only for those who fly Air Astana, but also for clients of other airlines. Earlier, Deputy Chairman of the Civil Aviation Committee (CAC) of the Ministry of Investment and Development Serik Mukhtybaev announced that ticket prices for all flights in Kazakhstan can be reduced.

“The new ticket price is based on low fuel costs. We can expect to see further falling ticket prices in connection with falling fuel prices. But this issue has to be cleared by airline representatives and not public officials,” the speaker said.

In related news, Air Kazakhstan on Feb. 6 announced it has decided to change its name to Kazakh Air.

According to Chairman of the Committee for Civil Aviation Beken Seidakhmetov, the new airline, which will provide only domestic services, is being established now. The Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund is responsible for the changes. Due to the fact that the second owner of the airline has not allocated the necessary amount of investment, it was decided to create a company controlled entirely by Samruk Kazyna. The Samruk Kazyna Board of Directors decided to rename the airline. All terms and flights will remain the same.

Kazakh Air previously existed but went bankrupt in 2004. Over the years of its existence, Air Kazakhstan was headed by Rustem Bekturov and Erkin Kaliyev. On Jan. 1, 2014 Air Kazakhstan was 78 billion tenge (US$421 million) in debt. The company’s assets at that date amounted to 5.4 billion tenge (US$29.15 million). On Feb. 17, 2004, company management reported a voluntary transfer of domestic flights to SCAT, Atyrau Aue Zholy and Sayakhat airlines. The company’s last flight was from Hanover to Almaty and was made on Feb. 29, 2004.

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