Air Astana: Profit up 461% in 2019
Kazakhstan’s Air Astana has recorded a net profit (unaudited) for 2019 of US$30.03 million, up from US$5.3 million in the previous year. The airline carried 5.058 million passengers, an increase of 17% over 2018, with total airline revenue up by 6% to US$893 million. Unit cost was lower at 5.5 US cents per Available Seat Kilometre.
Commenting on the results, President and CEO Peter Foster stated that “passenger demand improved considerably during the year, driven by a significant increase in charter operations and by increased demand primarily on domestic routes, as a result of the successful launch of our Low-Cost Airline FlyArystan on 1st May 2019. Whilst yields have been affected by increased competition on international routes, reduced average domestic ticket prices and the lower value of the Kazakh Tenge, this was more than offset by increased demand and lower unit cost.”
Looking forward to 2020, Foster stated that “FlyArystan continues to grow ahead of expectations, and certain structural changes, such as the move to Domodedovo Airport at Moscow in line with the comprehensive S7 code share, and replacement of the Boeing 757 fleet by Airbus 321 Long Range aircraft, enable us to be cautiously optimistic. However, the impact of the Coronavirus is a significant unknown.” Air Astana operates to Beijing and Urumchi, both of which will operate with lower frequency in the event that restrictions on outbound group traffic from China remain in place for an extended period.