Contributing substantially to the development of the nation’s domestic passenger traffic business, Kazakh start-up low-cost carrier (LCC) FlyArystan served more than 455,000 passengers on 2,500 flights in the first six months since it launched operations in May this year. The budget airline also achieved a 94 per cent seat load factor in the period.
Founded in October 2018, the low-fare division of Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s national carrier, operates 10 domestic routes and expects to launch three more before the end of this year, including its first international service linking the Kazakh Nur-Sultan capital with Moscow’s Zhukovsky airport. The service will be launched once FlyArystan receives its fourth aircraft, an Airbus A320, to add to its fleet of 180-seat A320s all of which have been borrowed from its Air Astana parent.
Within the next year, the Kazakh airline is hoping to bring its fleet size to 10 aircraft and have at least 15 units by 2022. Along with its main Almaty base the LCC is planning to locate several aircraft at Karaganda and Aktobe in the second quarter of next year, gradually expanding its network to nearly 40 routes within 2020.
With its current achievements and plans in mind, the airline claims to have contributed significantly to the growth of Kazakhstan’s domestic air travel market. “In October 2019, year-on-year domestic passenger traffic growth reached 33 per cent, driven primarily by FlyArystan,” the LCC says in an official statement.
Zhanar Zhailauova, FlyArystan’s marketing and sales director, explains that the success of the airline in its first half-year lies in its diversified fares structure. “FlyArystan offers fares from just 3,999 tenge (US$10). On average, of 170 passengers on each flight, 95 (56 per cent) buy seats at our lowest four fare levels, with just 15 passengers (nine per cent) purchasing tickets in the highest four fare levels. The remaining passengers’ prices are distributed across the middle fare levels. We know that some people, including our competitors, are having trouble believing that our fares can be so low, but the continuing growth in the domestic market and the many tens of thousands of first-time flyers are testament to the FlyArystan effect that we are seeing wherever we fly. On average, across our network, 47 per cent of all seats are sold for less than 10,000 tenge ($26),” she reveals.
FlyArystan’s ambitious passenger numbers target for this year is at least 700,000.
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