Kazakhstan carrier Air Astana has announced it will launch a low-cost airline in the first half of 2019, with routes and bases to be released in the coming months.
The new airline will be called FlyArystan and will operate an initial fleet of four A320, though Air Astana aims for the carrier to have at least 15 aircraft by 2022.
Air Astana says the new subsidiary will operate a ‘classic LCC model’ following the examples of Easyjet, Indigo, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia.
It claims FlyArystan’s fares will be ‘approximately half’ of its own, mostly on domestic routes. However, the airline aims to expand to regional international flights in the mid-term.
The LCC’s management team has been drawn from Air Astana’s senior local managers and will be led by British-Australian national Tim Jordan, who brings 15 years’ experience from the likes of Cebu Pacific and Virgin Blue.
Air Astana says the new airline will be subject to the same safety standards and regulatory processes as the main carrier.
It also claims the airline will be ‘entirely self-funded’ and will not require capital from shareholders, state subsidies or external financial support ‘of any kind’.
Peter Foster, president and CEO of Air Astana, commented: “FlyArystan is the result of much serious thought and internal business planning, and comes as a result of a rapidly changing local and regional airline business environment. It will be good for the mid to long-term prospects of Air Astana, and we hope, very welcome to the Kazakhstan travelling public, who will be able to benefit from significantly cheaper airfares on domestic and regional routes.”