Air Astana readies LCC for 2019 take-off

Foster: LCC is airline's response to rapidly changing local and regional business environment

Air Astana will soon launch FlyArystan, an LCC offering fares “approximately half” of what the airline has available today.

Scheduled for launch in the first half of 2019, FlyArystan will operate a fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft configured to an all-economy class of 180 seats. The LCC will have an initial fleet size of four aircraft, with plans to grow to at least 15 by 2022.

Foster: LCC is airline’s response to rapidly changing local and regional business environment

In a statement, the airline said it will adopt a “classic LCC model, strictly following the examples of highly successful airlines such as easyjet, Indigo, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia”.

FlyArystan will start with mostly domestic routes, Air Astana said in its announcement, before expanding into regional international routes in the mid-term.

The new carrier will operate from multiple aircraft bases in Kazakhstan with routes and aircraft bases to be announced over the coming months.

The management team has already been appointed, drawn from Air Astana’s senior local managers.

It will be led by Tim Jordan, a British-Australian national with more than 15 years’ senior LCC management experience at Cebu Pacific and Virgin Blue.

Air Astana stressed that the project will be entirely self-funded, requiring no capital from shareholders, no state subsidies or external financial support of any kind.

Peter Foster, president and CEO of Air Astana, commented: “FlyArystan is the result of much serious thought and internal business planning, and (our response to) a rapidly changing local and regional airline business environment. It will be good for the mid to long-term prospects of Air Astana, and we hope, very welcome to the Kazakhstan travelling public, who will be able to benefit from significantly cheaper airfares on domestic and regional routes.”

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