The largest Kazakh aviation company Air Astana signed an agreement on June 16 in Paris-Le Bourget to lease seven aircraft, including two A320neo, one A321neo and four long-range A321neo LR planes. The aircraft will be delivered by American Air Lease Corporation (Los Angeles), reported the press service of Air Astana company.
The first A320neo aircraft is expected to arrive in Kazakhstan in spring 2016, while other planes will be delivered during 2018 and 2019. A320neo airliners will offer domestic flights as well as international routes to China, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. The A321neo LR can carry out long-haul flights, including those from Astana to London and from Almaty to Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong.
“A320 airbus has proved its exceptional performance in operation for the past nine years. It also has an attractive appearance, low operating costs, high reliability and high levels of security. The new generation aircraft A320neo provides a significant improvement in comfort, efficiency and operational capabilities, especially during long-haul flights between Asia and Europe,” said Air Astana President, Peter Foster.
It was reported that A320neo has 16 seats in business class and 132 seats in economy class. The A321neo has 28 seats in business class and 151 seats in economy class and the A321neo LR offers 16 seats in business class and 150 seats in economy class. All new airliners will be equipped with individual entertainment systems in both classes.
Air Astana is a joint venture of the Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund and BAE Systems with respective shares of 51 percent and 49 percent. The aviation company launched regular flights on May 15, 2002 and has a route network that includes more than 60 international and domestic flights operated from major hubs of the country located in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. The fleet consists of 30 Western-made aircraft, such as Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 757-200, Airbus A320 and Embraer E190.