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Air Astana Expands Flights to China Following New Aviation Agreements

Air Astana will increase flights between Kazakhstan and China, adding new routes and permissions, including unlimited flights to Hainan Island.

The number of Air Astana flights between Kazakhstan and China is set to increase following agreements reached at the China-Central Asia Aviation Co-operation group meeting held in Xi’an, China between 18th and 20th June 2024.

 

Designated carriers from Kazakhstan received approval to operate up to 52 passenger flights per week during the current summer season, with the figure increasing and up to 62 flights per week starting from the 2025 summer season. In addition to existing destinations in China, Kazakh carriers are now additionally allowed to operate flights to Guangzhou, China’s third largest city and largest commercial hub. Designated airlines also received the right to operate an unlimited number of flights to the cities of Sanya, Haikou and Qionghai on Hainan Island using the fifth, sixth and seventh freedom rights.

 

Kazakhstan is among the few countries in the world, along with the United States and a number of European countries, whose carriers have rights to operate flights to China using fifth freedom rights. Kazakh airlines have also received permission to operate cargo flights to China without restrictions on quantity and direction. Air Astana currently operates scheduled daily flights from Almaty to Beijing and from Astana to Beijing three times a week, as well as from Almaty to Urumqi in western China five times a week.

Air Astana is an airline and the flag carrier of Kazakhstan. Based in Almaty, the airline was founded by the Government of Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk Kazyna (51%) and BAE Systems (49%) and commenced operations on 15 May 2002. In February 2024 it became a dual-listed company, being listed on the Kazakhstan and London stock exchanges. It is the largest airline in Central Asia and the Caucasus region with 69% and 40% of market share on domestic and intra-regional routes from Kazakhstan.

George Diamantopoulos
 | Website

George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.

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