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  • Joe Breitfeller

Air Astana Signs Letter of Intent to Purchase 30 Boeing 737 MAX Airplanes

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

Boeing announced on the third day of the 2019 Dubai Airshow that Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, intends to buy 30 737 MAX aircraft for their low-cost startup FlyArystan.

Air Astana B767-300ER and 787 - Courtesy Boeing

There was more good news for the Boeing 737 MAX program on Tuesday, when Boeing announced the signing of a Letter of Intent by Air Astana for 30 airplanes, to be assigned to their new low-cost carrier (LCC) FlyArystan. Announced at the third day of the Dubai Airshow, the order carries a list value of $3.6B. Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, was founded in 2002 and is a joint venture between the National Welfare fund of Kazakhstan “Samruk-Kaznya” and BAE Systems, with equity stakes of 51% and 49%, respectively. In Tuesday’s announcement, Air Astana’s President and CEO, Peter Foster said,

“Since its launch in May this year, FlyArystan has exceeded all expectations and it is clear that low-cost air travel has a great future in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Air Astana has had a strong relationship with Boeing since the airline started flying in 2002 with a pair of 737NGs. Today we operate 757s and 767s and we believe the MAX will provide a solid platform for the growth of FlyArystan throughout our region, once the aircraft has successfully returned to service.”

Air Astana has grown its business from its hubs in Almaty and Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) with a network that serves Kazakhstan, Central Asia, China, Europe and Russia. Their LCC FlyArystan was founded in May of 2019 and is growing rapidly, with plans to launch service to Moscow in December. The company currently operates Boeing 757 and 767s along with Airbus A320 Family aircraft and Embraer E190/E2s. Also commenting on today’s announcement, Boeing’s President and CEO – Commercial Airplanes, Stan Deal added,

“Air Astana has become one of the leading airlines in Central Asia with its deep focus on safety, reliability, efficiency and customer service. At Boeing, we share those same values and are honored to expand our partnership with the 737 MAX. We believe the efficiency and reliability built into the 737 MAX will be a great fit for FlyArystan. We look forward to working with Peter and his team to finalize an agreement that meets their fleet and operational requirements.”

The Boeing 737 MAX can carry between 130 and 230 passengers up to 3,850 nautical miles (7,130 kilometers), while delivering a 14% fuel savings versus the most efficient single-aisle aircraft flying today. This is possible due to utilization of efficient CFM International LEAP-1B engines and Advanced Technology winglets.

Source: Boeing

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