Airports to compete for 1m passenger FlyArystan hub

Air Astana's new LCC looking to place two Airbus А320 aircraft plus engineering and crew.

As many as 18 airports are expected to take part in a competition to become a new hub for Kazakh start-up LCC FlyArystan.

The carrier has launched the innovative contest, with the winner to become a base for two 180-seat Airbus А320 aircraft, an engineering and technical base and crew.

FlyArystan, a subsidiary of national carrier Air Astana, expects hundreds of jobs to be created at the successful airport. Bidding airports have been asked to submit their “best commercial offer” by the end of May 2019.

Earlier this month the airline announced plans to launch on 1 May 2019 with four domestic routes from Almaty International Airport, including daily service to Karaganda, Taraz and Uralsk, plus a twice daily flight to the country’s capital Astana International Airport

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Air Astana CEO Peter Foster, who will be speaking at Routes Silk Road 2019, said that seats going on sale within six months of the new LCC’s inception was a “remarkable achievement”.

“FlyArystan adds strength to what we can now call the Air Astana Group,” he said. “It enables us to effectively compete in the growing low-cost travel segment in our country on better than equal terms with other airlines.”

“FlyArystan gives us the opportunity to grow the overall market by taking customers from other forms of travel and we are proud to be playing an important social and economic development role in Kazakhstan by creating this exciting new airline.”

Routes Silk Road 2019 will take place in Astana in July, bringing together key decision makers from the region’s airlines, airports and tourism authorities.