Kazakhstani flag carrier strongly focuses on traffic growth through Astana hub Air Astana announces its summer schedule with a major growth in services operating from the rapidly developing Astana hub. The new schedule sees service frequencies from Astana increase to Beijing (4) and Urumqi (6), China, Istanbul, Turkey (5), London, UK (5), Novosibirsk, Russia (7), Omsk, Russia (5), Tashkent, Uzbekistan (3), St Petersburg, Russia (7), Tbilisi, Georgia (4), and Yekaterinburg, Russia (7), Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (4), Seoul, South Korea (4). In addition, Air Astana will be resuming a service from Astana to Kiev, Ukraine on 2nd June 2017. Transfer traffic currently accounts for 10% of Air Astana’s business, but this is forecast to double in the next few years. Strong focus is now being placed on transfer traffic growth at Astana Airport, which will officially open a new terminal in summer 2017, which more than doubles existing capacity to eight million passengers per year. The opening of the new terminal will strengthen Astana Airport’s position as the leading hub for Central Asia, with its catchment area covering 250 million people in Central Asia, CIS and southern Russia. Air Astana currently offers around 400 flights per week from and to Astana. 152 world monitor “Air Astana is delighted to announce a major expansion of services from Astana this summer, with much improved network connectivity between destinations in Asia, Central Asia, Caucasus, China, Europe and Russia,” said Peter Foster, President and CEO of Air Astana. “Our passengers will travel smoothly through the new international terminal at Astana Airport, which is opening in time for the influx of visitors to Astana EXPO 2017.” ABOUT AIR ASTANA Air Astana, the national carrier of Kazakhstan, operates flights to over 60 domestic and international routes from hubs in Astana and Almaty. The company was incorporated in late 2001 and commenced operations on 15 May 2002. Air Astana fleet consists of Boeing 767, 757, Airbus A319, A320, A320neo, A321 and Embraer 190 aircraft. Air Astana became the first carrier from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS) and Eastern Europe to be awarded the prestigious 4-Star rating by Skytrax at its World Airline Awards 2012 and was also named ‘The Best Airline in Central Asia and India’ that year. Both achievements were repeated in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.