Kazakhstan’s Air Astana Group recovered from a loss-making 2020 to declare a profit after tax of US$36.1m in 2021. Total airline revenue increased by 92% to US$756m. It carried a total of 6.6million passengers, an increase of 79% and the highest in its history. Its full-service arm carried 3.5 million passengers whilst its low-cost subsidiary FlyArystan carried 3.1 million passengers. Freight carriage grew by 27%.

Commenting on the results, President and CEO Peter Foster stated that the group “recovered from the effects of the global pandemic far quicker than expected. Domestic traffic was strong and FlyArystan, in what is effectively its first full year of operation given that 2020 was partially a write-off, posted very strong growth and a small profit. Regional international yields firmed, and new ‘lifestyle’ routes to tourist destinations exceeded all expectations”.

Looking forward, Foster stated “2022 has thrown up new and early challenges. The troubles in Kazakhstan in early January were a V-shaped event for us, however the conflict in Ukraine, a country in which we have had a strong presence since 2013, is posing multiple challenges. We pray that it may be resolved soon not only for business reasons but more importantly, so that people in affected countries to which we fly can return to their normal lives”.