-Akhlaq Ahmed Usmani*
New Delhi, November 16.
India is an important destination on Air Astana’s Network. We are proud to have played a significant role in connecting business as well as leisure passengers from Kazakhstan to India over the past 13 years. Peter Foster, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Astana said here in the capital in a news gathering.
“India is an important destination on Air Astana’s network. We are proud to have played a significant role in connecting business as well as leisure passengers from Kazakhstan to India over the past 13 years. In addition, Air Astana is proud to add New Delhi to our growing network of flights to global capitals. New Delhi is a great new destination for us and we expect to carry both business travellers and holidaymakers between the two capitals, and also between India and cities in Russia and other countries on our network to and from Astana.” He said.
Bulat Sarsenbayev, Ambassador of Republic of Kazakhstan elaborates the importance of Air Astana for the mutual relationship. “This year within a half year we issued 8500 visas (to Indian tourists) because of Air Astana flights. Since last July we also assumed 3 flights in a week between Astana and Delhi. We have plans to expend further. There are technical issues but we have will so we will do.” He stated in his version. “There are 40% growth in the mutual travellers and we are discussing it with Indian counterparts. As you know we started business visas facility without invitation. There are good co operations after President of Kazakhstan and Prime Minister of India fruitful meeting.” Bulat stated.
He mentioned the 13th meeting of the Kazakh-Indian Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) on trade and economic, scientific, technical, industrial and cultural cooperation in last September. In which Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kanat Bozumbayev and Minister of Oil and Natural Gas of the Republic of India Dharmendra Pradhan attended. The meeting defined the document of strategy for the development of cooperation between the two countries for 2017-2019. “I am very happy as we have good results and I am among the high frequency traveller between India and Kazakhstan” he murmured with a smile.
Virendra Teotia of Umrao Group said that they have plans to launch Almaty-Mumbai flights. He said that Delhi Astana frequency is increasing and in the year of 2019 Air Astana will launch Mumbai Almaty flight.
Kazakhstan’s Skytrax award-winning full-service carrier Air Astana is celebrating 13 years of connecting India to Kazakhstan and Eurasia. Air Astana commenced operations to India in 2004 with flights between Almaty and New Delhi. Today, the airline operates 10 flights between Kazakhstan and India each week, including a daily service between Almaty and New Delhi and three frequencies between Astana and New Delhi.
Air Astana launched direct flights from Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, to the capital of India, New Delhi, on 2 July 2017. The three times weekly service currently operates using Airbus A320 and Embraer 190 aircraft. The carrier’s plans for the future will see an increase in the number of Astana– New Delhi flights from three to five times a week. Air Astana is also exploring the opportunity of launching new flights from Kazakhstan to other cities in India.
Travel between the two countries continues to grow. The total number of passengers carried between Kazakhstan and India during 2017 reached 43 459, an increase of 43% compared with 2016. Furthermore, Air Astana offers its passenger travelling via Almaty convenient connections to other international destinations such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Istanbul, Tbilisi and Bishkek.
As a result the number of transit passengers travelling from New Delhi via Almaty to other international destinations grew by 33% year-over-year in 2016. Passengers travelling via Astana are also offered a range of flight connections, with services to international destinations including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Kiev, Baku and Tbilisi as well as to many cities across Kazakhstan.
Air Astana is committed to offering business as well as leisure passengers to and from India access to cutting-edge technology and quality onboard services. The airline aims to constantly enhance the passenger experience whether onboard or on the ground with products such as the MyUpgrade service,
Stopover Holidays, KCTV Stream and many others. These efforts earned Air Astana the prestigious 4-Star service excellence rating by Skytrax. The airline has also been awarded the accolade of ‘Best Airline in Central Asia and India’ for six consecutive years, Best Airline Staff Service in Central Asia/India’ five times. Air Astana is proud to share this award with Indigo Airlines, which has been voted “Best Low Cost Airline Central Asia and India” for eight consecutive years.
About Air Astana
Air Astana, the national carrier of Kazakhstan, operates flights to over 60 domestic and international routes from hubs in Astana and Almaty. The company was incorporated in late 2001 and commenced operations on 15 May 2002. Air Astana’s fleet of 31 aircraft includes Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 757-200, Airbus A320 family and Embraer E-190 types. In November 2016 Air Astana took delivery of its first A320neo. The carrier will take delivery of another 10 Airbus A320 neo family aircraft including four A321 LR. In addition to that Air Astana expects to take delivery of 5 E190-E2s from the fourth quarter of 2018-2019 and three Boeing 787 from 2019-2021. Air Astana became the first carrier from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS) and Eastern Europe to be awarded the prestigious 4-Star rating by Skytrax at its World Airline Awards 2012 and was also named ‘The Best Airline in Central Asia and India’ that year. Both achievements were repeated in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Feature Photo Caption: L to R Bulat Sarsenbayev Ambassador Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of India, G V Srinivas Joint Secretary for MFA Eurasia Division, Peter Foster CEO Air Astana and Virendra Teotia of Umrao Group. Photo: Diplomacy Today
Inputs also from Air Astana and Embassy of Republic of Kazakhstan in India
*Editor: Diplomacy Today