NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s first low-cost airline FlyArystan will expand the number of its flights out of the Sary-Arka Airport in Karaganda in the second quarter of 2020.
The additional flights out of Kazakhstan’s fourth largest city will include 10 to 12 domestic and national routes and are expected to help develop tourism in the region. The expansion follows the success of recently launched flights from Almaty to Karaganda.
“The results of the first three months of operations to Karaganda are very exciting with 49 percent traffic growth versus the same period last year, following the start of FlyArystan flights to Karaganda,” said Air Astana Chief Financial Officer Ibrahim Canliel.
“Starting from the second quarter of 2020, we are planning significant network expansion from Karaganda. After increasing our Karaganda base fleet to two Airbus A320 aircraft, the number of domestic and international routes served from Karaganda will reach approximately 10-12, providing passengers with up to one million seats per year. This will provide affordable mobility, increase both the tourist and business flows to the region and will positively impact the development of the hospitality industry of Karaganda, including hotel, restaurant, retail, entertainment and virtually all other services,” said Canliel.
FlyArystan is a subsidiary of Air Astana.
The additional flights will begin with one A320 aircraft. A second A320 will be added in late 2020 or early 2021.
FlyArystan started service to Karaganda with daily service to Almaty on May 2. More than 200 flights have been completed since the route was launched, and the flights have been 93 percent filled. Approximately half of all seats on this route were sold for less than 10,000 tenge (US$25). Prices started from 5,999 tenge (US$15).
FlyArystan will be recruiting up to 120 pilots, engineers, inflight and ground service employees in Karaganda.
“Critically, more routes and more seats mean more low fares and travelling options for the people of the Karaganda region. That is great news for the region, and we hope that other cities follow the proactive lead of Karaganda airport management in working closely with FlyArystan,” Canliel said.
Sary-Arka Airport Chairman Sarsenbek Kushkinov said flying FlyArystan aircraft out of Sary-Arka airport will help the airline manage costs.
“Our partnership follows international practice when low-cost airlines opt for regional airports to ensure competitive prices for air travel. Karaganda has unique weather conditions in terms of visibility and other key flight factors at any time of the year and has all necessary infrastructure for both a comfortable stay and timely service with planned double growth in passenger traffic next year,” he said.