|Founded||29 August 2001|
|Commenced operations||15 May 2002|
|Company slogan||From the Heart of Eurasia|
|Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk Kazyna (51%).|
Other Shareholder: BAE Systems PLC (49%)
Air Astana (
Air Astana was described by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation in January 2012 as having "performed better in its first decade than just about any other start-up carrier". Yet its origins represent one of the more intriguing and unlikely stories to have emerged from the airline industry in recent times. Originally conceived as purely domestic airline,
In spite of a lack of support, the airline took off on the charge. Under its first operational president, former
Early growth pains and disagreements over fleet plans and hub strategy led to tensions between the shareholders and a management change in autumn 2005. Peter Foster, a former executive of
In an article on BAE Systems' offset programmes (10/10/13) the Financial Times stated, "BAE’s 49 per cent stake in Kazakhstan’s Air Astana became one of the company’s highest-yielding investments".
Until 8 December 2016, Air Astana was the only Kazakh airline allowed to fly to the European Union.
Today, the Air Astana airline's fleet is the youngest in Europe and consists of 30 (as of July 2015) Western-made aircraft. As a result of the restructuring of the fleet and the replacement of all Airbus A320 and Boeing 767, the average age of the Air Astana fleet decreased to 6 years as of 2015. The company plans to expand its fleet up to 43 in 2020. In addition, the carrier plans to start flying to the United States with the arrival of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
At the end of 2016, the company's fleet was replenished first in the post-Soviet countries of the Airbus A320neo (Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines).
In January 2018, the company adopted the first Airbus A321neo in the post-Soviet countries (Pratt & Whitney PW1000G-JM engines).
In June 2018, the fleet received a second Airbus A321neo.
In November 2018, the airline announced that it plans to launch its own low-cost airline, called FlyArystan.
In December 2018, the airline's fleet was replenished with Embraer 190-E2 – first in the post-Soviet countries.