Ahead of this year's Routes Asia forum, Routesonline is providing a snapshot on the leading airlines and airports and most used aircraft types across the region. Here we look closely at the airports serving Central Asia and highlight the region's top performers.
The data is all supplied by OAG Aviation using its OAG Schedules Analyser tool.
Scheduled Air Capacity From Central Asia (2005 - 2014)
Our analysis of published schedules for the past ten years shows that air capacity within and from Central Asia has risen from 5,705,888 available seats in 2005 to 15,205,307 available seats in 2014. This represents a growth of 166.5 per cent across the period, an average annual increase of 18.5 per cent. In the past year capacity increased 12.4 per cent.
Top Ten Airports in the Central Asian Market (2014)
Kazakhstan airports hold the first and third positions in the listing of largest facilities for air travel within and from Central Asia, highlighting the key role the large former Soviet Republic plays in the region.
Almaty International Airport leads the way with a 20.6 per cent share of available capacity within and from the region in 2014, but has seen its share of capacity decline 1.2 percentage points despite a modest 6.4 per cent rise in network capacity versus 2013.
Tashkent International Airport, the main gateway into Uzbekistan, is the second largest facility in the region with a 13.3 per cent capacity share, while Astana International Airport in Kazakhstan’s capital city was third with a 13.2 per cent share, and coming close to taking the second spot.
Fastest Growing Airports in the Central Asian Market (2010-2014)
Looking at capacity data in the region across a five year period, it is Kulyab International Airport that has grown by the biggest margin with capacity up 825.4 per cent from 2010. The facility serves the Khatlon Province in Tajikistan and is mainly linked to Russia’s largest cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.
Five other airports more than doubled capacity during the period: Osh International Airport (up 279.9 per cent); Bishkek’s Manas International Airport, Kyrgyzstan (up 189.7 per cent); Paro Airport, Bhutan (up 188.9 per cent); Shymkent International Airport, Kazakhstan (up 161.1 per cent) and Fergana International Airport, Uzbekistan (up 107.1 per cent).
Data comparison between 2013 and 2014 shows that Osh International Airport, which serves Kyrgyzstan second largest city located in the Fergana Valley in the south of the country, has seen the largest year-on-year growth among the top ten airports in this region with capacity rising 31.6 per cent over the 12 month period.
It was one of six top ten airports in the region to report double-digit capacity growth between 2013 and 2014; the others being Bishkek’s Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan (up 27.0 per cent); Khudzhand Airport, Tajikistan (up 15.7 per cent); Astana International Airport, Kazakhstan (up 14.9 per cent); Dushanbe International Airport, Tajikistan (up 14.0 per cent); and Aktau Airport, Kazakhstan (up 11.8 per cent).
Looking at the wider top twenty airports in the region it is Paro Airport, the only international airport in Bhutan which recorded the largest year-on-year capacity growth with a rise of 108.5 per cent. Notable growth was also recorded by Kulyab Airport in Tajikistan (up 50.2 per cent), Karagandy International Airport in Kazakhstan (up 44.5 per cent) and Fergana International Airport in Uzbekistan (up 42.9 per cent).
The schedules data shows that only three of the top twenty airports in Central Asia reported capacity declines between 2013 and 2014: Samarkand International Airport, Uzbekistan (down 8.2 per cent), Urgench International Airport, Uzbekistan (down 3.5 per cent) and Atyrau Airport, Kazakhstan (down 3.4 per cent).
Scheduled Central Asia Capacity by Aircraft Type
The chart below shows which aircraft types were most prevalent in the Central Asian market during 2014. The schedule data shows the Airbus A320 (320) is the most widely used aircraft type in this market with a 26.0 per cent share of available seats with overall network capacity up 19.2 per cent between 2013 and 2014 from 3.31 million seats to 3.95 million seats.
The second most utilised aircraft type in this market is the Airbus A321 (321) with a 9.8 per cent share, while third most widely operated type by network capacity is the Boeing 757-200 (757) with a 7.6 per cent share.
The biggest rise in annual capacity among the top ten aircraft types were recorded by the Boeing 737-300 (733) with a 130.0 per cent rise in available domestic seats in 2014 versus 2013. The largest decline in annual capacity was recorded by the Boeing 737 all series (737) with a fall of 42.7 per cent, while Boeing 737-800 (738) capacity declined 37.3 per cent.