Air Astana passengers with Chinese passports continue to enjoy 72 hours visa free stopover in Kazakhstan

Chinese transit passengers also enjoy Stopover Holiday Program benefits.

The 72 hours visa free programme for passengers holding Chinese passports and wishing to stopover in Kazakhstan has been extended until the end of 2018 following its first successful implementation during Expo 2017. Air Astana passengers, who are transiting in Almaty and Astana simply need to notify check-in staff at their point of departure in order to enjoy the benefits of the visa free visit.

Air Astana’s transit traffic to and from China grew to over 62% in 2018, as compared to the same period in 2017. Total passenger numbers on routes to China have grown to more than 1.5 million, since Air Astana first launched services to Beijing in 2002. Together with the visa free programme, the Air Astana Stopover Holiday Program has proved to be very popular with Chinese travelers and has been another factor contributing to traffic growth. The program offers one night’s accommodation with breakfast and return airport transfers for as little as US$1. For more information, please visit

Air Astana currently operates daily flights from Almaty to both Beijing and Urumqi. Flights from Astana to Beijing operate four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Flights from Astana to Urumqi operate six times a week from Tuesday through Sunday. Astana – Urumqi service will become daily effective from June 2018. Flights to Beijing are served by the Airbus A320 family of aircraft including the new generation A320neo and A321neo. Flights to Urumqi are served by Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft during the summer peak season and the Embraer 190 during the winter off-peak season.

Top destinations for Air Astana’s Chinese passengers departing from Beijing and Urumqi include Moscow, St. Petersburg, Frankfurt, Paris, Istanbul, Dubai, Kiev, London, Dushanbe and Bishkek. Air Astana provides convenient onward flights to Tashkent, Tehran, Baku, Tbilisi, Delhi and Kuala Lumpur.

Economy Class airfares start from:

  • Beijing / Almaty return – US$516 including tax
  • Urumqi / Almaty return – US$221 including tax
  • Beijing / Astana return – US$391 including tax
  • Urumqi / Astana return – US$256 including tax

“It has been over 16 years since Air Astana launched its first flight to China. During that time, we have significantly grown our Chinese market business by offering daily services between Almaty – Beijing and Almaty – Urumqi, as well as launching and adding frequencies on routes from Astana to China,” said Richard Ledger, Vice President Marketing and Sales, Air Astana. “We have been working hard to attract Chinese business and leisure travelers, not just by launching new routes and increasing number of frequencies, but also by offering various convenient connections to numerous destinations in the CIS, Europe and elsewhere on the network. I’m in no doubt that the extension of the 72-hour visa free entry to Kazakhstan for Chinese passport holders will further boost transit traffic.”

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