July 27, 2016: Air Astana, Kazakhstan's flag carrier, recorded a net loss of $6.6 million, and an operating profit of $0.975 million, for the first half of 2016. Passenger numbers fell by 7 percent to 1.69 million.
Operating revenue fell by 30 percent to $275 million, driven by a signification devaluation of the Kazakh Tenge in comparison with the first half of 2015, and by weaker regional travel markets in the wake of commodity price falls.
Peter Foster, president and CEO, Air Astana, commented, “The macro-economic environment has been and continues to be extremely challenging for all airlines operating in the region. However, we have been able to compensate to a large extent for a steep drop in revenue, particularly on domestic routes, by further reducing unit cost and by substantially increasing international transit traffic between Europe and Asia.”
“The interim result is therefore better than expected under the circumstances. Prospects for the rest of the year remain uncertain. However, there are signs that regional economies are adjusting to structurally lower commodity prices. Further development of transit business over our Astana and Almaty hubs continues to be a priority.”
Air Astana recently launched flights between Almaty and Tehran, and will take delivery of its first Airbus A320Neo later this year.