Almaty International Airport tells how to reduce the cost of air tickets

The Almaty International Airport, Kazakhstan, responded to airline accusations of an excessively high cost of servicing aircraft, which, according to air carriers, affects the high cost of air tickets. One also brought options that can help lower prices.

Expensive flights

During a message to the people, President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev was indignant at the high prices of air tickets in Kazakhstan, noting that they are sometimes 30% more expensive than in Europe.

Later, Deputy Prime Minister Zhenis Kassymbek noted that there is a shortage of aircraft in the country to meet demand, so prices of air tickets are high.

At the same time, Air Astana’s Revenue Management Director Yerbolat Baisalykov said in an interview with KTK that high prices for air tickets are due to jet fuel costs, maintenance of airports and other ground services.

Aircraft service share in air ticket price

Arnat Akhmetzhanov, tariff policy manager, Financial Control Department, Almaty International Airport, responded to allegations against the airport of excessively high tariffs for servicing aircraft.

“The current tariffs at the airport in Almaty have not been reviewed for ten years. The level of our tariffs covers only operating costs including salaries of production personnel, maintenance costs, depreciation, raw materials and utilities,” Mr. Akhmetzhanov told Sputnik Kazakhstan.

At the same time, he explains: if the calculations are made, it will become clear that in the structure of the cost of air tickets, airport expenses occupy only three to seven percent. It depends on the airline economy, air route and type of aircraft. At the same time, if we take into account the nearest international competitors, such as the airports in Bishkek, Tashkent or, for example, Novosibirsk, then the cost of service is at least twice as high.

Two options for reducing the cost of air travel

At the same time, the Almaty International Airport is sure that there are opportunities for a significant reduction in airfare. There are at least two scenarios for this.

“First, under the current regime of closed sky, it is necessary to return the state price regulation of domestic air transportation, which was carried out until 2015. After its cancellation, the cost of air tickets and the dynamics of price growth went up sharply. There are many antitrust regulation and control tools,” Mr. Akhmetzhanov said.

The second scenario is even simpler and more realistic: creating competition by liberalizing airspace.

In other words, it is necessary to open the sky and allow other air carriers to ensure that there is competition between the airlines: then prices will drop noticeably, and new destinations will not be long in coming.

“Also, “open skies” will have a multiplier effect: it will increase trade, the flow of citizens, increase tourist attractiveness, and more money will come to the state treasury. But the main thing is that all airports in Kazakhstan will develop without exception. Additional investments will appear, new terminals will be built, the quality of services will improve,” Mr. Akhmetzhanov said.

In the meantime, according to him, the Almaty International Airport, as well as all other Kazakhstan airports, is, as if in claws: on the one hand, the state does not allow raising prices for air carrier services, on the other hand, the state does not open the market to other world airlines. And there are dozens of them, already negotiating with the airport in Almaty.

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