Air Astana Expands Fleet, Launches MyUpgrade Tool

ASTANA – Air Astana, the national carrier of Kazakhstan, signed an agreement with AerCap Holdings N.V. to lease three Airbus A321NEOs and one A320NEO aircraft, which will be used on the airline’s domestic and international route networks, reported the company’s press office.

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“Air Astana is delighted to have concluded an agreement for these four additional NEOs,” said company President and CEO Peter Foster. “We have no doubt that the NEO will prove an ideal intermediate range aircraft for us. We are also pleased to be able to continue and enhance our excellent partnership with AerCap.”

AerCap is the global leader in aircraft leasing, with approximately 1,730 owned, managed or on-order aircraft in its portfolio.

“AerCap is delighted to work with Air Astana to support the carrier’s expanding network in the region, particularly on longer-range routes to Asia and Europe, with the most modern, fuel-efficient equipment,” said AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly.

AerCap serves more than 200 customers in approximately 90 countries with comprehensive fleet solutions and provides part-out and engine-leasing services through its subsidiary, AeroTurbine. The company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in Abu Dhabi, Dublin, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, Shanghai, Shannon, Singapore  and Toulouse.

Air Astana has also launched MyUpgrade, an innovative online tool that enables existing economy class customers to bid for business class seats before their flight. The tool gives passengers the chance to name their own price within a minimum and maximum range to be considered for an upgrade to the premium cabin.

“We expect that this new facility will be extremely popular with our customers. Our aim is to make better use of our cabin inventory, whilst ensuring the best customer experience. Whilst there is no guarantee that customers will be successful every time they bid, it does provide an opportunity to enjoy Air Astana’s award-winning business class cabin across a range of long and short-haul flights. It is another example of the airline using industry-leading technology to deliver new products and services to our customers,” said Richard Ledger, vice president of worldwide sales at Air Astana.

According to the company’s press office, Air Astana customers who book an eligible flight at www.airastana.com will receive a pre-departure email inviting them to visit the secure online portal to make their offer. Customers booking via ticket offices and travel agents can also check their flight eligibility and make an offer through the dedicated marketing page on the website. Customer bids are accepted up to 72 hours before departure. The system reviews all bids and available capacity for each flight 48 hours before departure and sends successful bidders their upgraded tickets by email. The higher the bid, the more likely passengers will be successful with their offer. Customers provide payment card details at the time of offer, but payment is only processed if bids have been successful.

Those passengers who successfully bid for an upgrade will enjoy a host of benefits and privileges including greater in-seat comfort, personal on-demand inflight entertainment systems, business class cuisine and beverage selection, access to international business class lounges, increased luggage allowance, priority boarding and priority luggage delivery.