Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, will launch a new weekly flight between London Heathrow and Astana on 29th October 2013, bringing the number of services between Kazakhstan and the British capital to three per week. The flights will be operated by Boeing 757-200 aircraft, configured with 16 business class and 150 economy seats.
The new flights will complement the existing Almaty-London services as well as the existing daily Astana-Frankfurt services. The new London rotations will mean that on Tuesdays the aircraft will fly Almaty-London-Astana-Almaty, on Thursdays the aircraft will fly Almaty-Astana-London-Almaty and on Saturdays directly between Almaty-London-Almaty.
Economy class return airfares start from GBP 473 and business class from GBP 1,994, including government taxes, airport fees and charges. Passengers wishing to travel between London and Astana on days other than when the direct services operate can utilize the daily services between Astana and Frankfurt and connect with partner airlines British Airways or Lufthansa between Frankfurt and London Heathrow.
The direct services from London to Astana will also enable UK originating passengers to connect to Air Astana increasing international and domestic network services operating from Astana, which include Beijing, Urumchi, Tashkent, Bishkek, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Omsk amongst others.
“We are delighted to be able be able to increase services to the United Kingdom. Not only are we increasing our current capacity between Kazakhstan and London Heathrow by 50%, we are directly connecting the two capital cities for the first time. Following quickly on the heels of Prime Minister David Cameroon’s visit to Kazakhstan, this step demonstrates the strengthening relationship between the two countries and our increasing focus on Astana in the run up to Expo 2017” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.
Air Astana launched services between Almaty and London in December 2003 and has carried more than 160,000 passengers on the route to date.
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 operated an all-western fleet of two Boeing 767-300ER, five Boeing 757-200, thirteen Airbus A320 family aircraft and seven Embraer E90. Air Astana became the first carrier from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and 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. Both accolades were repeated in 2013.
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund Samruk Kazyna and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.