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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Air Astana and Turkish Airlines sign letter of intent

Two Skytrax award-winning carriers from Europe and Central Asia look to build a wide-ranging commercial co-operation

Air Astana and Turkish Airlines have completed the first step towards a wide-ranging co-operation, including a codeshare agreement on routes operated by  both carriers between Kazakhstan and Turkey. The Letter of Intent was signed at an event in Istanbul by Peter Foster, President of Air Astana, and Temel Kotil, PhD, President and CEO of Turkish Airlines.

Codesharing on flights between  Istanbul – Almaty and Istanbul – Astana will also include a special prorate agreement to destinations beyond their respective hubs in Almaty, Astana and Istanbul.  The agreements are intended to take effect as of May 2013.

“The strength of the extensive and rapidly growing network of Turkish Airlines from its hub at Istanbul Ataturk Airport will allow us to offer a much wider range of destinations to our customers. Our passengers will enjoy increased travel flexibility and improved connectivity benefiting from the combined frequencies that we will be offering through the codeshare. Our passengers will enjoy the codeshare services of the two airlines respectively rated Best Airline of Europe and Best Airline Central Asia and India by Skytrax,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.

“We are extremely delighted to sign the Letter of Intent with Air Astana, as we aim to improve our partnership to maximize the travel opportunities offered to passengers through the extensive networks of both airlines. Air Astana continues expanding successfully, offering services at highest standards with a young fleet. Together we will be offering better connectivity for our customers on the two airlines` networks. We believe this partnership with Air Astana will bring benefit for both sides, not only in commercial aspects in rapidly growing Kazakhstan but also in technical and training areas.” said Temel Kotil, PhD, President and CEO of Turkish Airlines.

About Air Astana

Air Astana commenced regular flight operations on 15 May 2002 and currently operates a network of almost 60 international and domestic routes from hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Air Astana flies an all-western fleet comprised of two Boeing 767s, five Boeing 757s, twelve Airbus A320 family aircraft, and six Embraer 190s. Air Astana has become the first carrier from Russia/the CIS /Eastern Europe to be awarded the prestigious 4-Star rating by Skytrax in its World Airline Awards 2012 and was named The Best Airline in Central Asia and India.

Air Astana is a full member of the International Air Transport Association and was the first airline in Kazakhstan to achieve EU EASA Part 145 aircraft maintenance certification. In September 2011, Air Astana successfully completed its third annual IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund Samruk Kazyna and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.

About Turkish Airlines

Established in 1933 with a fleet of only five airplanes, Star Alliance member, Turkish Airlines is today a four star airline with a fleet of  210 aircraft (passenger and cargo) flying to 219  cities around the world, comprised of 36 domestic and 183  international destinations. One of the fastest growing airline companies, Turkish Airlines has received several “Passengers Choice Awards” from the consumer ranking group, Skytrax. Based on 2011 and 2012 results, Turkish Airlines has been chosen as the winner of “Best Airline Europe”, “Best Premium Economy Seats” for its Comfort Class seats and “Best Airline Southern Europe”. It has also received awards for its catering and holds a coveted 4-star designation, putting the airline in a small group of top quality carriers. Turkish Airlines was also given the Skytrax designation of “World’s Best Economy Class On-board Catering” in 2010, and Skyscanner’s “Best On-board Food 2011”. Long haul Business Class passengers also enjoy the Flying Chef service onboard.