NUR-SULTAN – Qatar Airways is set to launch direct flights to Kazakhstan connecting the Kazakh capital, Almaty and Qatar capital Doha under the open skies regime introduced Nov. 1 at the country’s 11 airports, reported sputniknews.kz. Negotiations between the countries’ civil aviation authorities concluded Nov. 8.
Qatar Civil Aviation Administration President Abdullah Nasser Turki al-Subai, Kazakh Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development Civil Aviation Committee Chair Talgat Lastayev, Kazakh Ambassador to Qatar Askar Shokybayev and representatives of Qatar Airways, Air Astana and the Almaty Airport participated in the talks.
“The first flights between Nur-Sultan and Doha will be launched in December. This will allow passengers from Kazakhstan to travel to 160 destinations around the world,” said Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Fathi Atti.
The agreement provides for seven passenger flights between the cities per week, as well as seven weekly cargo flights from the capital and Almaty to Doha.
The flights will be carried out within the fifth degree of the freedom of the air, which permits the right to regular air transportation, granted by one state to another, when the designated carrier can unload and take on board passengers, mail and goods coming to or from a third state in the territory of the partner country.
Qatar Airways is one of the world’s largest airlines with a fleet of 233 aircraft. The airline, which last year transported more than 29 million passengers, has its main transit hub in Doha’s Hamad International Airport.
“The agreement was reached within the framework of the open skies regime implemented in Kazakhstan,” reported the Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee press service.
Lastayev said the open skies regime will attract new passengers, reaching approximately 20 million by 2038. Authorities expect it will increase competition between carriers and reduce ticket costs.
The airports in Aktau, Almaty, Karaganda, Kokshetau, Pavlodar, Petropavlovsk, Semey, Shymkent, Taraz, Ust-Kamenogorsk and the capital have already launched the regime for foreign companies. It will last for three years with the possibility of an extension.