Air Astana has welcomed its 50th aircraft, an A321neo, from Hamburg, Germany, amidst plans to float the company on the London Stock Exchange to boost growth.

This aircraft combines business and economy classes and features the new ‘Airspace Cabin’ economy class, which has larger overhead bins and more seats.

With 50 aircraft in its fleet, Air Astana provides scheduled point-to-point routes for travellers on domestic, intra-regional and long-haul international destinations across Central Asia, the Caucasus, Europe (including Turkey), the Middle East and Asia (including India and China).

The latest aircraft delivery and fleet expansion is in line with the Group’s strategy to grow its fleet to 80 aircraft by 2028.

The Group currently has a 69% market share on domestic routes and a 40% share on intra-regional routes.

Set for growth

The Air Astana Group – which is made up of two complementary brands, flag-carrier Air Astana and its low-fare brand, FlyAyrstan – is currently planning to boost its growth with an additional US$120 million from floating on the London Stock Exchange, Astana International Exchange (AIX) and Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KSE).

The Group will float 25% of its share capital. The float on the London Stock Exchange is expected to occur in February 2024.

Peter Foster, Air Astana Group President and CEO, commented: “We are confident that the initial public offering will accelerate the next stage of growth for the Air Astana Group, and we see significant opportunities to thicken our existing routes and expand into new geographic areas, supported by our continued fleet expansion plan and initiatives to increase operational flexibility.”

The Group also announced on 19 January its intention to sell shares and GDRs held by its investors BAE Systems and Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna Joint Stock Company, in addition to new shares and GDRs issued by the Company.

BAE has a 49% stake in the Group and could benefit from a mass profit, depending on how much of its stake it decides to sell.

Foster added: “We are confident that our industry standing, market position and growth profile present a compelling investment opportunity. This is an important milestone in our long-term strategy, and we look forward to welcoming new Kazakh and international investors as shareholders.”

Image credit: Air Astana