FlyArystan, the world’s newest low fare, from Kazakh flag carrier Air Astana, takes to the skies today, for its first revenue flights from Almaty International Airport.
The airline starts with six domestic routes, with journey times from one to three hours to Taraz; Shymkent; Pavlodar; Uralsk; Nur-Sultan (Astana) and Karaganda.
From announcement to revenue realization within six months, a 160-strong workforce supporting the business has been established in Almaty, Air Astana’s HQ. This includes 25 pilots and 45 flight attendants, with
Air Astana has supplied an initial two Airbus A320 aircraft from its fleet under its Air Operator’s Certificate, painted up in the striking FlyArystan red and white livery. A further two A320s will follow in the last quarter of the year, by which time FlyArystan should be operating at least 12 routes and will be looking at obtaining an AOC in its own right.
The aircraft have been newly retrofitted with 180 brand new blue leather Recaro slimline seats, featuring red head-rests, the same colors as the cabin crew uniforms, designed by a local fashion house, working closely with Air Astana’s inflight team.
“With this exciting new airline, we are courting a new generation of travelers. People who typically get around our large country using the train or bus, or those who don’t travel at all. We are pitching FlyArystan at the visiting friends and relatives market, primarily. In turn, this will stimulate the leisure market as a second strand, together with an element of business travel. A number of destinations handed over to us by Air Astana will suit a different, more price-conscious demographic. Accordingly, we aim to introduce some purchase options giving flexibility for business flyers, including offering refunds or the ability to change tickets, albeit at higher tariffs,” said Tim Jordan, Head of FlyArystan.
Welcoming Kazakhstan’s decision to implement legislative changes enabling airlines to start charging passengers for baggage, Tim Jordan stressed it is important that baggage costs are not out of kilter with FlyArystan’s low fares, as it sets out to capture new flyers.
FlyArystan’s corporate identity is a lion. “What we are doing with this new airline is delivering something new and different for the people of Kazakhstan. With our super low fares we are being brave and courageous – just like the lion – a popular and revered animal in Kazakhstan and central Asia,” Tim Jordan stated.
Almaty International Airport is also embracing the new model. “They see we have a lot of these low fare seats on offer and are beginning to understand the efficiency we are pledging to bring for our passengers and the airport.”