Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, reported a net loss of $6.6 million, and an operating profit of $0.975 million, for the first half of 2016. Operating revenue fell by 30% 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. Passenger numbers fell by 7% to 1.69 million.

Peter Foster, Air Astana President and CEO, said: “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."

Direct Astana-Ulaanbaatar flights  were cancelled due to the ungrounded revocation of permission by the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia.

Air Astana commenced scheduled flight operations on May 15, 2002 and currently operates a network of over 60 international and domestic routes from hubs in Almaty and Astana. Air Astana’s fleet of 30 aircraft includes Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 757-200, Airbus A320 family and Embraer E-190 types.

Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund, Samruk Kazyna, and BAE Systems from the UK, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.