Saturday, November 18, 2017

Air Astana Plans To Add Direct Mumbai-Kazakhstan Flights

Kazakhstan's flag carrier Air Astana plans to add Mumbai as its second destination in India by 2019, the airline's President and CEO Peter Foster said on Friday. The airline operates 10 flights between Kazakhstan and India every week, including a daily service between Almaty and New Delhi and three frequencies between Astana and New Delhi.

"Our first priority is to get our Delhi to Astana flight up to daily. Thereafter, we would like to add Mumbai by 2019," Foster said at a press briefing here. He said however that the lack of available slots at airports was a problem. "Airports are increasingly being privatised and slot allocation process has to be seen to be transparent and fair," he said. "The problem is, and this is throughout the world, that because of grand-fathered rights or slots held at major airports by national carriers, new slots are extremely hard to come by," Foster added.

Air Astana is celebrating 13 years of connecting India to Kazakhstan. It commenced operations in India in 2004 with flights between Almaty and New Delhi. Direct service from Astana to New Delhi was launched on July 2, 2017. Both services are operated using Airbus A320 and Embraer 190 aircraft. The total number of passengers carried between Kazakhstan and India during 2017 reached 43,459, representing an increase of 43 percent compared with 2016. The number of transit
passengers travelling from New Delhi via Almaty to other international destinations grew by 33 percent year-over-year in 2016, according to a statement by Air Astana.
17/11/17 PTI/Mid Day