Air Astana’s low-cost subsidiary FlyArystan gets own AOC, pursues further growth 


FlyArystan, the low-cost subsidiary of Kazakh national carrier Air Astana, has obtained its own, separate air operator certificate (AOC) from the Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan (AAK). 

Although launched in 2019 with its own distinct brand and commercial strategy, FlyArystan had previously been operating under Air Astana’s AOC. 

According to Air Astana, which remains the sole shareholder of FlyArystan, the obtention of a separate AOC will allow FlyArystan to be granted an IATA code, open up new distribution channels and better pursue new growth opportunities. It will also allow the low-cost carrier to establish its own partnerships and alliances with other international airlines. 

As of April 2024, FlyArystan operates a fleet of 18 planes, all Airbus A320 family aircraft (seven of which are the “neo” version), and expects the delivery of six additional ones in 2024. The airline carried 3.6 million passengers in 2023, capturing 37% of the domestic market. 

“This makes it the right time for FlyArystan to obtain its own operator certificate, reflecting the increased size and operational complexity of the airline. It provides the regulatory framework for FlyArystan to continue to grow while pursuing opportunities for international expansion,” stated Peter Foster, CEO of Air Astana Group, in a press note announcing the emancipation of the group’s budget carrier. 

The expansion of FlyArystan takes place in the context of significant growth in the Kazakh air travel market. In its latest report, released on December 2023, the local aviation authority, Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan (AAK), said the country was nearing the 13 million passenger mark in 2023, an increase of 23% over the preceding year. 

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