Kazakhstan to create a cargo airline

Air Astana currently provides freight services using the baggage compartments of its aircraft Air Astana currently provides freight services using the baggage compartments of its aircraft (Photo by Air Astana)

Kazakhstan intends to create a cargo airline.

According to Today.kz, the task is assigned to the national carrier Air Astana together with the state logistics operator Kazakhstan Railway.

According to the railway operator, the new cargo airline will begin flights in 2017 with China, Europe, Iran, Russia and Turkey among the first destinations.

Airline activity will be coordinated with the railways. It is planned that it will become part of a new project called Rail-Air, and is meant to strengthen Kazakhstan’s competitiveness in the world. The Kazakhstan railways described it as a “new product of intermodal transport by rail and air transport.”

It is expected that Rail-Air would be “an alternative to the existing, but slower supply chain Sea-Air from South East Asia to Europe via Dubai”, said the railway operator.

Currently, Kazakhstan has no own cargo airline. Air Astana provides freight services to many countries of the world using the baggage compartments of its aircraft. The airline is also using partnerships with other carriers.

Kazakhstan is now actively working on the development of freight hubs in the country’s airports. This year, the air hub of Karaganda was the first air harbor of Kazakhstan, which has been validated according to the requirements of European aviation authorities RA3 (third country regulated agent – registered agent from the third countries).

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