Monthly Archives: June 2014

Air traffic controller convicted for Kazakh State Border Service’s aircraft air crash cut up to four years imprisonment

An imprisonment sentence has been reduced from six to four years for Kanat
Akilbekov, air traffic controller, who was convicted, as a result of the  Kazakh State Border Service’s aircraft air crash
near Shymkent, Kazakhstan, Ziyadinhan Pirnazar,
Chairperson, Criminal Cases Board, Southern Kazakhstan Region, reported to the Novosti-Kazakhstan
News Agency.

“After consideration of the case at the Court of Appeal, it turned out
to become possible to reduce the punishment for the defendant. The sentence has
been reduced from six down to four years of imprisonment. The defendant and his
lawyers have the right of appeal at the Court of Appeal,” Mr. Pirnazar said.

The defendant and his lawyers declared on their disagrees with the
verdict and plans to appeal once after the verdict. At the same time, the protection
and the defendant continue to insist on the innocence of the air traffic controller
and, after receiving the copy of the sentence, they intend to lodge an appeal.

We remind herein the AN-72 airplane belonged to the State Border Service
under the National Security Committee, Kazakhstan, crashed near Shymkent on
December 25, 2012. All 27 people  including
the Acting Chief of the State Border Service, National Security Committee, Kazakhstan, Turganbek
Stambekov, who were aboard were killed. In late April, the dispatcher of Kazakh
Air Navigation Agency, Kanat Akilbekov, was sentenced to six years imprisonment
in a penal colony. The court found him guilty in the air crash.

Source –  

Boeing delivers 1,500th Boeing-747 plane to its customer

Boeing (NYSE: BA) has delivered the 1,500th 747 to come off the
production line to Frankfurt, Germany-based Lufthansa. The milestone airplane
is a 747-8 Intercontinental, the 14th one that Lufthansa will incorporate into
its long-haul fleet.

“Reaching this milestone delivery is a testament to the capabilities of
the airplane and our commitment to continuous innovation,” said Eric Lindblad,
747 Vice President and General Manager, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The new
747-8 is delivering on its promise to our customers, and we continue to look at
ways to make it even more efficient in the future.”

“Lufthansa is honoured that the 1,500th 747 will fly with the Lufthansa
livery,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet

We remind herein that Lufthansa is the launch customer of the 747-8
Intercontinental and took delivery of its first airplane in April 2012. The
airline has 19 747-8 Intercontinentals on order.

Source –

Ganja – Mineral Waters airline launched

As of June 22, 2014, AZAL (Azerbaijan Airlines) has launched a new air
route, Ganja, AzerbaijanMineral Waters, Russia. The flights are operated weekly,
on Sundays, by Embraer-190 aircraft.

Departure of the flight #J2-727 from Ganja is at 16:20, arrival in
Mineral Waters is at 16:30. Departure of the flight #J2-728 from Mineral Waters
is at 17:30, arrival in Ganja is at 19:35. Time is local for all airports.

Other air carriers do not operate their flights on this air route.

Source –

Frequency of Almaty – Baku flights to be increased

The frequency of direct flights, Almaty, KazakhstanBaku, Azerbaijan,
will be increased, reported Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) reported for

Starting from July 7, 2014, these flights will be operated four times a
week. In addition to Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, the flights will also be operated
on Mondays.

Currently, one also operate connecting flights from Bakuto Almaty through Astana and Aktau,

Source –

SCAT Airlines to operate charter flights from Bodrum to Almaty

A Kazakh private airline, SCAT Airlines, will operate its charter
flights from Almaty, Kazakhstan,
to Bodrum, Turkey, reports
citing the Air Company’s Press Service.

“On June 28, 2014, an application was delivered to SCAT Airlines from
the Gulnar Tour Operator to operate Bodrum – Almaty and Almaty – Bodrum flights.
Having considered the technical ability, the Airline confirmed the fulfillment
of these flights. Estimated time of departure from Bodrum to Almaty is at 21.30,
arrival in Almaty is at 5:30. Departure from Almaty to Bodrum is scheduled at 07.00,
and tourists will arrive in Bodrum at 09.50 (local time for all airports). Operation
of these flights will not affect the schedule of the Air Company’s own tourist
flight schedule”, the Air Company informed.

We remind herein, previously, the Gulnar Tour Company’s customers were
flying by the planes belonged to Jet Airlines. On June 26, over 140 Kazakh
tourists could not fly from Bodrum. “All the tourists were informed that there was
a delay. The delay was due to technical reasons, so to speak. That is, we
change the crew for Jet airlines”, the Air Company explained. However, it
became known that they would fly on June 28, 2014, by the aircraft belonged to SCAT

Source –  

Air Astana’s aircraft to “speak” by a Kazakh singer’s voice

From now on, a voice belonged to a Kazakh singer and TV presenter, Karina
Abdullina, will greet passengers flying with Air Astana. She sounded all
onboard texts that sound during the flight, reported.

“Since July 2014, all aircraft belonged to the Kazakh flag air carrier, Air
Astana, will “talk” to  passengers by my
voice in the Kazakh and Russian languages. As for me, this is a great honour to
be the official voice of the national air carrier of Kazakhstan. It was very difficult,
but, at the same time, incredibly interesting work. I want to thank the
leadership of the airline in the person of its President, Peter Foster, and, of
course, my dear Bulat Syzdykov, a composer and arranger of the Musicola Music
Group, for their sound producer’s diligent work”, Mrs. Abdullina said.

Earlier, it was reported that Air Astana considers introduction of the
Internet on board its aircraft. In 2014, Air Astana conducts appropriate investigation
for admissibility and the possibility of introducing wireless Internet on
board. For a while, according to the law of Kazakhstan,
“On Using Airspace of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Aviation
Activities”, one prohibits using cellular services and trunking communication
at all stages of the flight.

Source –  

Kazakh air carriers to launch direct flights, Almaty – Bali

Kazakhstan and Indonesia are set to launch regular
direct flights between the two countries, according to the Kazakh Ministry of
Transport and Communications.

Aviation authorities of Kazakhstanand Indonesiasigned a memorandum of mutual understanding within which new regular flights
between the two countries are to be opened. Kazakh and Indonesian airlines that
will be named later will perform up to 5 weekly flights to each country.

Indonesian air carriers will offer direct flights to Almaty and Astana
cities. Kazakh airline companies are to fly to Jakartaand Denpasar (Bali) starting this autumn.

Source –

Aeroflot’s flights to Georgia questionable once again

The Russian Civil Aviation Agency’s website has another draft annex to
the Protocol for consideration by an Interdepartmental Committee that admits
air carriers to operate international air flights. In this document,  the Agency recommends to refuse Aeroflot to be
admitted to operate regular flights to Georgia.

We remind herein that Aeroflot has been requesting admission to Georgia for
about six months. Previously, the air carrier planned sufficiently extensive
flight program, and, in addition to Aeroflot, some other Russian airlines were
going to fly to Georgia.
Invariably, the Interdepartmental Commission gave a negative response to
requests from air carriers. The Russian Foreign Ministry is an initiator of the
latest refusals. The Agency believes that the available transportations to Georgia are enough
to meet the passengers’ needs. As a result, the air carrier was unable to get
any approvals for regular or charter flights.

The situation changed in early June 2014. Aefrolot received admission to
the daily regular flights from Moscow, Russia, to Tbilisi,
. The
minutes of the Interdepartmental Committee on the admission of air carriers to operate
international flights said that the admission can be granted “after receiving
the response notes from the Georgian Foreign Ministry on the resumption of
regular air traffic”. A source in Interfax close to the aviation authorities
said that representatives of foreign ministries of Russiaand Georgiahave held consultations, during which “the parties came to an agreement and
understanding for the resumption of regular air communication between the two

The news was optimistically adopted in the Russian travel market.
Interest in Georgiais actively growing, but not everyone can visit the country now. The reason is
in price on air tickets. If earlier, an air ticket, for example, from Ukraine to Georgiacost about US $100, then one may get from Moscowto Tbilisi no
less than for US $500. Often, the cost of transportation is comparable with the
prices of ground handling in Georgiawithin the tour package. This deters tourists and makes a trip to the country
to move indefinitely. The appearance of regular flights could set a positive
trend to this destination, experts say. And if no one waits for lower prices from
Aeroflot then the competition could contribute to lower rates among other air carriers.

On Friday, June 27, 2014, the Russian Civil Aviation Agency’s website published
a regular draft annex to the protocol. In it, the Agency recommends once again
to refuse admission for Aeroflot to fly to Georgia. “As regards this airline, admission
was granted with the phrase, “after receiving the response notes from the
Georgian Foreign Ministry on the resumption of regular air traffic”. “Refuse in
admission”, the explanation of the refusal said. In addition to Aeroflot,
refusal was also given to  UTair. This
air carrier planned to fly from Moscow to Tbilisi seven times a
week. “One should refuse in admission in accordance with the position of the
Russian Foreign Ministry”, one explained in the document.

Source –  

Air Astana to become public airline

Peter Foster, President of Air Astana, the Kazakh flag air carrier, announced
the Air Company’s plans to enter the IPO in the next 2-3 years. Air Astana is
targeting an initial public offering in two to three years as the Kazakhstancarrier prepares for a new wave of aircraft deliveries to drive growth.

“There is an absolute consensus among the owners Air Astana should
be listed,” airline President Peter Foster said in London Thursday. The company has been
steadily paying a dividend to help build confidence among future investors, he

Kazakhstan‘s sovereign wealth fund, Samruk
Kazyna, holds a 51% stake in the airline, with BAE Systems controlling the
rest. BAE Systems’ involvement came as the defense company sought to win a
military order in the country. The airline, which began flying in 2002, had
sales of $967 million last year and a profit of $46 million.

Air Astana is pursuing network expansion in Europethis year and next after the European Union in April lifted restrictions on its
operations. Carriers from Kazakhstanare banned from flying into the EU because of safety concerns, though Air
Astana had a limited waiver that has now been extended.

The airline this month increased its service to Londonto three times a week from twice, and will next year expand its network to add Paris and Pragueservices. Flights to Tel Aviv may commence next year, slightly ahead of plan,
Mr. Foster said.

Air Astana is also expending its network into Asia and through the Caucasus as it seeks to dominate a market that lacks
large rivals.

After several years of growth, the airline this year has slowed capacity
expansion after the Kazakhstangovernment in February devalued the national currency, the tenge, Mr. Foster
said. “The market has come back,” he said, and “growth will

Air Astana has been upgrading its fleet to serve its growing network of
cities and now operates three Boeing Co. BA +0.76%  767-300ERs replacing older models of the jet.

The airline will take a pause on new plane deliveries in the next two
years before Boeing 787 Dreamliners start to arrive in 2017.

The carrier is also about to finalize leases for 11 Airbus Group EADSY
-0.95%  NV

A320neos, re-engined models of the plane currently in service, to
replace older A320s and Boeing 757 jets.

Mr. Foster said the airline is waiting to see if Boeing modernizes the
out-of-production 757 with new engines and a cockpit that would be similar to
the Dreamliner. “We are hugely interested by increasingly specific
indications Boeing is taking a look at a reconstituted 757,” he said.

Air Astana would need the plane around 2025, or two years after Boeing
is considering introducing the model, Mr. Foster said. The aircraft would be
used to replace older A320s and the leased A320neos, he said. Boeing hasn’t
decided yet whether to build the updated plane.

Source –

Boeing advancing on successor to Boeing-757 jet, Air Astana says

Boeing Co. (BA) is close to announcing a new aircraft to succeed the 757
jetliner that ceased production almost a decade ago, according to central Asian
carrier Air Astana, which is keen to purchase the plane.

The airline’s talks with Boeing at the International Air Transport
Association annual meeting in Doha earlier this
month suggest the model will be built, Air Astana President Peter Foster said
yesterday in an interview in London.

Boeing is gauging the appetite of airlines for a new medium-size jet for
transcontinental travel within the U.S., executives said at the
Singapore Air Show in February. A plane seating 180 people in two classes able
to fly as many as 9 hours also would meet requirements from Almaty,
Kazakhstan-based Air Astana on so-called long, thin routes, Foster said.

“They made absolutely clear that this is now firming up and that they’ll
be making an announcement soon,” Foster said of the Doha discussions. “That for us is very

The new aircraft would help fill the gap in Chicago-based Boeing’s
roster of new jets between the largest 737 Max, set to debut late this decade,
and the smallest 787 Dreamliner. Airbus (AIR) Group NV has been gaining sales
in the transcontinental segment with its long-range A321, and could make
further headway if executives move forward with plans to outfit its
medium-range A330 with more fuel-efficient engines.

Market Trends

“We continue to watch trends and speak to our customers to determine
what the market will require in the years to come,” Doug Alder, a Boeing
spokesman, said today in an e-mail. “Today, we’re very focused on our current
development programs: the 777X, the 737 Max and the 787-10.”

Air Astana, which is 49 percent owned by U.K. defense company BAE
Systems Plc (BA/), has issued a request for proposals for 11 stopgap jets to
replace five 757s and a handful of other aging planes, with Airbus’s re-engined
A321neo emerging as the best prospect for the niche, Foster said.

Air Astana is seeking deliveries starting in 2017, with the planes on
eight-year leases expiring from about the time that a 757 successor would
become available in 2024 or 2025, the executive said. Discussions are under way
with lessors including AerCap Holdings NV (AER) and Air Lease Corp. (AL), and
an A321 order probably will be announced as soon as October, he said.

Final 757

While Boeing delivered the last single-aisle 757 in 2005, the jet remains
popular with carriers such as Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) for a
range that’s unmatched by any narrow-body jet currently manufactured.

Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said in May that Boeing was
contemplating a new aircraft with comparable capabilities, though saw no
immediate need to produce the plane.

Boeing’s design would meld features from the single-aisle 737 Max, which
seats as many as 192 people, and the twin-aisle 787-8, with a capacity for 242
travelers, McNerney said. The planemaker used a similar approach when it
developed the 757 jointly with the larger 767 in the 1980s.

Air Astana has just taken delivery of a third Boeing 767 that may be the
last passenger variant off the assembly line, according to Foster, a former CEO
of Royal Brunei Airlines and senior executive at Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific
Airways Ltd. (293)

The Kazakhstanairline also has orders for three 787 Dreamliners for delivery in 2017 and 2019
that will be used on U.S.routes, Foster said.

Founded in 2002 as part of a planned BAE deal to sell radar equipment to
the Kazakh government, Air Astana has expanded to offer 60 services, 38 of them

European Expansion

While the carrier is strongest on routes to Russiaand former Soviet capitals in central Asia, it has added destinations in China, South Koreaand Thailand and also serves
Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam. Flights to Parisand Prague will
commence in March after the European Union lifted curbs imposed after Kazakh
civil aviation authorities failed to pass a safety audit. Air Astana had
already won a partial exemption.

Foster said the carrier also needs to replace a fleet of Embraer SA
(EMBR3) E-190 regional jets, and that while Bombardier Inc. (BBD/B)’s new
CSeries plane is an option the new generation Embraer E2 family may be more

Air Astana — which is 51 percent owned by Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth
fund — plans to hold further talks with the Brazilian company at the
Farnborough Air Show in July, he said.

Source –