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 airlines 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 Airlines in the Central Asian Market (2014)
Kazakhstan’s Air Astana dominates air travel within and from Central Asia, highlighting the key role the partnership between the government and BAE Systems has had in developing air connectivity in the region. The airline has a 30.2 per cent share of available capacity within and from the region in 2014, but has seen its share of capacity decline 2.0 percentage points despite a modest 5.2 per cent rise in network capacity versus 2013.
Uzbekistan Airways is the second largest facility in the region with a 14.9 per cent capacity share, while SCAT Airlines from Kazakhstan is the third largest with a 7.2 per cent share. The dominance of Air Astana is clear as its capacity offering is larger than the third to tenth largest operators added together.
Fastest Growing Airlines in the Central Asian Market (2010-2014)
Over the last five years, five new airlines have introduced flights in Central Asia: Air Bishkek, Air Nepal International, Avia Traffic Company, East Air, Pegasus Asia. Looking at capacity data in the region across this period from 2010 to 2014, it is Russian carrier UTair that has grown by the biggest margin with capacity up 1,165.6 per cent from 2010.
Fellow Russian carrier Ural Airlines has more than quadrupled its own capacity into the region during the period (up 364.9 per cent), while Aeroflot (up 226.1 per cent) and Air Kyrgyzstan have each more than tripled their seat offering. Kazakhstan’s SCAT Airlines (up 166.0 per cent), Russia’s S7 Airlines (up 136.8 per cent) and Bhutan’s Druk Air (up 102.2 per cent) have all at least doubled capacity.
Data comparison between 2013 and 2014 shows that domestic Kazakhstan carrier Bek Air reported the largest year-on-year growth among the top ten airlines serving this region with capacity rising 149.1 per cent over the 12 month period. This has boosted its share of the market in Central Asia from 1.2 per cent in 2013 to 2.6 per cent in 2014.
It is one of two of the top ten airlines to more than double capacity between 2013 and 2014, alongside Aeroflot Russian Airlines which boosted its available network capacity by 133.0 per cent between 2013 and 2014.
Outside of the top ten airlines, it was Pegasus Asia that reported the largest rise in capacity with a growth of 873.4 per cent. The airline only launched scheduled operation in July 2013 after local Kyrgyzstan carrier Air Manas sold a minority 49 per cent stake to Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines.
Elsewhere, Tajikistan carriers East Air (up 134.1 per cent) and Tajik Air (up 105.9 per cent) both more than doubled their Central Asian network capacity over the last two years.
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.