Saturday, March 13, 2010

Air Astana Reports $47 Million Profit


Aviation Daily Mar 11 , 2010 , p. 18
Neelam Mathews

Kazakhstan’s Air Astana declared a profit after tax of $47 million on revenues of $546 million in 2009, a gain of 176% over 2008 and a 34% increase over its previous best year of 2007.

Although there was a one-off currency gain of $8.2 million after devaluation of the Kazakh Tengue in February 2009, the result represents the effectiveness of cost saving measures from mid-2008, said President Peter Foster.

“The fact that we were not fuel hedged until April 2009 meant that we took full advantage of price falls. Add to that unit cost savings across the airline, and in particular the dismantling of general sales agency agreements in Kazakhstan and Russia following the implementation of IATA eBSPs in both markets, and the year was very satisfactory in spite of a drop in revenues,” Foster added.

Air Astana recently took delivery of a sixth Fokker 50, its 22nd aircraft, and will introduce two Embraer 190 regional jets in the beginning of next year.

The Air Astana fleet consists of Boeing 767s, Boeing 757s, Airbus A320s, Airbus A321s and Fokker-50 aircraft. The carrier has plans to increase its fleet size to 34 aircraft by 2014. It holds an EASA Part-145 certificate and the company passed IOSA, IATA operational safety audit in 2009.

Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national welfare fund Samruk Kazyna (51%) and BAE Systems PLC (49%). It started operations in May 2002.

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