Almaty-based Air Astana has declared 2022 its best year ever after posting a record profit of $78.2 million after tax.
The Kazakh flag carrier and its no-frills subsidiary FlyArystan carried a combined 7.53 million passengers over the 12-month period and generated $1.03 billion in revenue.
Commenting on the results, the airline’s president and CEO Peter Foster stated: “The group significantly exceeded expectations despite political unrest in Kazakhstan in January and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. Revenue loss caused by the closure of routes to, from and over Russia was more than compensated for by increased capacity deployment to Europe, Asia, India, and the Caucasus.”
Foster was also positive about the input of subsidiary FlyArystan, which has grown by 366% since its launch in 2019. He added: “It has a great future, as this region probably has the fastest growing low-cost air travel market in the world today.”
While Air Astana expects its upward trajectory to continue this year, the CEO was cautious about “persistent headwinds”, noting “continued airport and service provider resource and supply chain limitations, technical reliability issues with [Pratt & Whitney] PW1000 engines, and general inflationary pressure on all aviation-related resources.”
Elsewhere, the carrier confirmed it will resume flights between its Astana hub and Beijing. The twice-weekly services, launching on March 18, will be operated by Airbus A321LRs and complement existing links between the Chinese capital and Almaty. The latter were introduced again last November, increasing to four-times weekly on March 2.