Analysis: Kazakhstan's incredible growth

Ahead of the return of Routes Silk Road in July, Routesonline take a look at the incredible network growth in Kazakhstan.

 The data is all supplied by OAG Aviation using its OAG Schedules Analyser tool.

With the huge growth experienced in the aviation market, which is set to accelerate in the coming years, Silk Road countries stand to benefit greatly.

Although new technology will make more long-haul point-to-point routes theoretically possible, the huge demand required to guarantee filling the wide-body equipment means only a select number of these will be economically viable.

Therefore airports in Eastern Europe have the opportunity to follow the gulf in bridging the European, North American and Asian powerhouses.

Total departure seats - Kazakhstan 

Over the past decade both the domestic and international markets from Kazakhstan have more than doubled. In 2009 4.1 million departure seats were available from the country, but this has grown by an annual average of 10 percent.

The largest annual growth was between 2010 and 2011, although the market also expanded rapidly by 16 percent from 2016 to 2017.

During the decade it has been the domestic market which accounts for both the lion’s share of traffic and the fastest growth, growing by 10.6 percent annually on average.

The domestic market accounted for 60 percent of all departure seats in the country in 2009, and has grown to 63.1 percent in 2018.

Top routes - Kazakhstan

Unsurprisingly, the route between Astana and Almaty is by some distance the largest route operated from or within Kazakhstan.

The route offered 1,902,710 seats in 2018, more than five times higher than the second-placed service, from Astana to the country’s third-most populous city Shymkent.

Internationally, routes from Astana and Almaty to Sheremetyevo were the offered the highest capacity.

Interestingly, most international routes within the top ten by seat numbers are to nearby locations such as Turkey and Dubai.

The furthest route within the top ten is Astana to Frankfurt at 4,307km, with the second furthest in eighth place overall being Almaty to Seoul Incheon at 4,170km.

Airlines by market share - Kazakhstan

Domestically Air Astana, the CEO of which will be speaking at Routes Silk Road 2019, dominates the market offering more than half of the available seats.

Air Company SCAT, the Shymkent carrier which offers, international service then takes almost another quarter of the total market share, with the remaining quarter being divided between three other carriers; one of which is Lufthansa.

Air Astana’s market share is only slightly less dominant internationally, offering 47.2 percent of the total seats available from Kazakhstan. Russian flag carrier Aeroflot comes next with 23.4 percent, and SCAT 15.7 percent.

This triumvirate allows for only 13.7 percent available for the remaining carriers operating international flights from Kazakhstan.

Equipment - Khazakhstan

As expected in a market dominated by domestic flights, the workhorses of the low-cost market are the most prevalent. The A320 family (31.35 percent) has almost double the market share of the 737 (17.66 percent).

However the Boeing 757 and 767 also have a 13.56 percent market share between them, with the next-most utilised Airbus, the A330, having just 2.8 percent.

Embraer’s e-jets and older Fokker equipment also have a significant share.

Total departure seats - Astana

The growth in Astana over the last decade has been remarkable, with domestic seats available almost trebling, while international has increased nearly fourfold.

In 2009 there were 656,881 domestic seats available from the city, which rose to 1,843,504 last year. This is an average annual growth rate of 12.4 percent during the period, with the highest year-on-year increase being 27.6 percent from 2011 to 2012.

International seats available have risen from 346,341 to 1,208,935, and average of 15.3 percent each year.

As a percentage of overall seats available from Astana, international routes have also risen, from 34.5 percent in 2009 to 39.6 percent in 2018.