The Civil Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan says the country’s airlines have lost an estimated US$551 million

CAAKZ: the air transport sector needs state support because of the Coronavirus crisis

CAAKZ Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana’s revenue is down US$160 million during the last two months (Georgy Bovtik)

As with everywhere else in the world, the fall out from the spread of the Coronavirus infection has affected the civil aviation industry of Kazakhstan in the direst way. The Civil Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan (CAAKZ) estimates that the combined March and April loss of the central Asian country’s airlines is in the region of US$551 million.

In order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in Kazakhstan, the state Commission has reduced the number of flights per week to international destinations from 442 to 4 on 97 routes or 99 per cent of all international flights.

At the same time, all scheduled domestic flight services have been grounded and there are currently no regular air services at all within the country.

Up to 22 March of this year, 540 flights a week were being operated on 45 domestic routes (77 flights daily). But then, from April 2, all domestic regular flights between the cities of Kazakhstan were suspended.

According to forecasted data, the number of passengers transported in Kazakhstan decreased by 70 per cent in the March-April 2020 period. From the reduction and restriction of flights, the nation’s air transport businesses suffered badly, with local airlines losing 235 billion tenge (US$551 million), airports 24.5 billion tenge (US$57.5 million) down, and the Republic’s ATC, Kazaeronavigatsiya, worse off by 28 billion tenge (US$65.6 million).

Currently, the country’s civil aviation suppliers are actively participating in the evacuation of citizens and in the transportation of humanitarian goods.

CAAKZ is therefore urging that the air transport sector needs support measures from the state, as well as the adoption of appropriate actions to minimise the consequences of the pandemic and prepare the industry for the restoration of civil aviation in Kazakhstan.

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