New Kazakhstan low-cost carrier (LCC) FlyArystan – a subsidiary of Air Astana – takes to the skies for the first time today with services from Almaty International Airport.
The airline starts with six domestic routes to Taraz; Shymkent; Pavlodar; Uralsk; Nur-Sultan (Astana) and Karaganda.
A 160-strong workforce supporting the business has been established in Almaty, Air Astana’s headquarters, including 25 pilots and 45 flight attendants, with many seconded from Air Astana.
The rest are new recruits who, in addition to undertaking call centre reservations work, are being trained to assist in ambassador roles at check in as part of the FlyArystan ground services team across the seven initial cities served.
Air Astana has supplied an initial two Airbus A320 aircraft from its fleet under its Air Operator’s Certificate. A further two A320s will follow in the last quarter of the year.
FlyArystan is set to be operating at least 12 routes by the end of 2019 and will be looking at obtaining an AOC in its own right.
FlyArystan head, Tim Jordan said: “With this exciting new airline we are courting a new generation of travellers. People who typically get around our large country using the train or bus, or those who don’t travel at all. We are pitching FlyArystan at the visiting friends and relatives market, primarily.
“In turn this will stimulate the leisure market as a second strand, together with an element of business travel. A number of destinations handed over to us by Air Astana will suit a different, more price-conscious demographic.
“Accordingly, we aim to introduce some purchase options giving flexibility for business flyers, including offering refunds or the ability to change tickets, albeit at higher tariffs.”