ASTANA, Kazakhstan – Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s Skytrax award winning flag carrier, operated the first flight from Almaty to Hong Kong today, with the new direct service bringing a host of previously remote destinations in Central Asia, Caucasus and southern Russia closer to Asia’s most dynamic business and financial centre. Flights will initially be operated twice weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) using a Boeing 757 configured in a 16 business class / 150 economy class configuration. The duration of the Almaty to Hong Kong flight is 6 hours 10 minutes, whilst Hong Kong to Almaty flight is 7 hours 10 minutes.
Air Astana offers connecting flights from Almaty to nine domestic destinations including the capital Astana and Atyrau on the Caspian sea, as well as regional services to cities including Baku (Azerbaijan), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Kazan (Russia), Novosibirsk (Russia), St Petersburg (Russia), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Yekaterinburg (Russia). Hong Kong is Air Astana’s sixth long haul destination in Asia, with existing services operating to Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul. Besides connections on its own network, Air Astana also offers multiple options with its partner airlines through Hong Kong, one of the major Asian hubs.
“Air Astana is in the midst of its 10th anniversary celebrations and I’m delighted to add this pioneering direct service to Hong Kong from Central Asia to our achievements this year. Alpine Almaty and dynamic Hong Kong are both exciting destinations and with visa free travel for HKSAR/ Kazakhstan passport holders, I’m confident about strong traffic growth amongst both business and leisure travellers.” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana. “ Skytrax recently awarded Air Astana a 4-Star rating and named it Best Airline, Central Asia, so passengers on the Hong Kong route can look forward to very high standards of service.”
Air Astana commenced regular flight operations on 15th May 2002 and currently operates a network of more 50 international and domestic services from hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Air Astana flies an all western fleet comprising of two Boeing 767s, five Boeing 757s, ten Airbus A320s, six Embraer 190s and three Fokker 50s. Air Astana is a full member of the International Air Transport Association and was the first airline in Kazakhstan to achieve EASA Part 145 aircraft maintenance certification. In September 2011, Air Astana passed its third annual IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), without any findings.