Almaty, Kazakhstan – Air Astana (“the Company”), the leading airline in Central Asia, announces the publication of its consolidated financial statements for the six months ending 30 June 2019 in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, reported in US Dollars.*
Key financial and operational highlights
- Total revenue marginally down at USD372.6 million (1H2018: USD386.5 million);
- Operating Profit improved to USD6.8 million versus 1H2018 Loss of (USD11.9 million);
- EBITDAR increased +49% to USD50.0 million (1H2018: USD33.6 million) thanks to high levels of operating efficiency;
- CASK (Cost per Available Seat Kilometre) improved by 7% to US¢5.33 (1H2018: US¢5.73), one of the lowest in the industry;
- RPK (Revenue Passenger Kilometres) marginally down at 4.4 billion (1H2018: 4.6 billion);
- Total number of passengers carried of 2.1 million, up 1%, despite the late delivery of new aircraft by the manufacturer;
- Domestic traffic grew by 9% in the first half, with a particularly strong increase of 20% in the second quarter, reflecting the strong initial performance of FlyArystan which launched in May;
- Delivery of 1 A320 NEO and 2 Embraer E190-E2 aircraft;
- Ranked 12th most punctual mainline airline in the world (OAG Punctuality League 2019);
- Recognised as the Best Airline in Central Asia and India at the Skytrax World Airline Awards for the eighth year running in 2019.
*The Company separately reports its results domestically in Kazakh Tenge. The average exchange rate for January to June 2019 was 379.14KZT/USD, 16% percent higher than the exchange rate of 326.49KZT/USD during the same period of 2018.
Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, achieved an improved financial performance during the first half of 2019. Whilst revenue was marginally down, the Company reported an Operating Profit of USD6.8 million, with EBITDAR up 49% at USD50.0 million, despite a challenging global economic backdrop.
The Company continued to demonstrate its strong cost control, improving CASK by 7% to US¢5.33.
The airline carried a total of 2.1 million passengers during the first half of the year, which was marginally higher than in 2018. Domestic traffic grew strongly by 9% for the six-month period, which included a notable increase of almost 40% in June compared to the same month 2018. This trend is expected to accelerate as a result of the strong traffic contributions from FlyArystan, the recently launched low-cost offshoot of Air Astana.
President and CEO of Air Astana Peter Foster commented: “We are pleased to have been able to turn a first half loss in 2018 to a profit in 2019, at a time of general weakness in the industry. Our cost base remains one of the lowest in the world. Air Astana’s combination of high quality service delivery and cost discipline has resulted in a strong improvement in financial results. In addition, the launch of FlyArystan on the 1st of May was a significant achievement for Air Astana. A sizeable share of the group’s total traffic is now being generated by customers who have never previously flown. More than 80,000 FlyArystan tickets priced below KZT 10,000 (US$26) have been sold during the peak season, which has contributed to traffic through the hubs in Almaty and Nur-Sultan growing by 30%, and doubling from regional cities.”
International transit traffic declined by 5% due to the temporary suspension of services to India and a reduction in connecting traffic from Turkey and Ukraine, compensated by growth from China to destinations in the CIS.
Air Astana’s fleet renewal programme is rapidly moving ahead, with one Airbus A320neo and two Embraer 190-E2 airliners having been added to the fleet during the first half of 2019. The new generation aircraft produce up to 15% less CO2, which contributes significantly to the airline’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions. Air Astana’s fleet currently comprises of 36 Boeing 767/757, Airbus A320/A321 and Embraer E190/E190-E2 aircraft, with an average age of 7.3 years.