Air Astana will continue to operate flights to international destinations with some changes during the autumn-winter period. From October 21, 2020, in accordance with the directive from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Air Astana will reduce the number of international flights to Turkey, the UAE, Ukraine and Germany. The weekly frequency of flights to Istanbul will decrease from 16 to 12 flights, to Dubai – from 12 to 8 flights, to Kiev – from three to one flight and to Frankfurt – from six to four flights. At the same time, Air Astana intends to supplement these with charter flights to Sharm El Sheikh on the Egyptian Red Sea coast, and to the Maldives. The domestic flight schedule remains unchanged.
“We appreciate and understand the Government’s reasons for and efforts to suppress the spread of the virus. At the same time, travel, tourism and leisure industries are, collectively, a massive generator of global economic activity and jobs. It is vital that these industries are able to restart in a meaningful way at a point early in 2021. Failure to do so will have extreme financial and social consequences which will impact both national economies and peoples’ lives. We firmly believe, in line with IATA and the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), of which we are full members, that pre-departure Covid-19 testing for passengers intending to take international flights holds the key to a restart,” commented Peter Foster, CEO and President.
Virus transmission risk very low in aircraft cabin – says IATA
According to IATA studies, the aircraft cabin is the safest against coronavirus infection compared with other public places, and PCR tests and masks on board are effective methods to combat the spread of infection. Since the beginning of 2020, only 44 cases of possible infection during transportation have been registered, despite the fact that during the same period 1.2 billion passengers travelled. This represents an average of one case per 27 million passengers.
Aircraft design features add an extra layer of protection which includes: use of HEPA filters with a removal efficiency of more than 99.9% of bacteria / viruses and fresh air entering the passenger compartment at high speed. Air is exchanged 20-30 times per hour on board most aircraft.
Air Astana JSC complies with all sanitary standards established by the Chief State Sanitary Doctor for Transport of the Republic of Kazakhstan such as wearing medical masks by crew and passengers.