Air Astana in Talks to Acquire Three Dreamliners From Boeing

Nov 17. Bloomberg

By Nariman Gizitdinov

Air Astana in Talks to Acquire Three Dreamliners From BoeingAir Astana, a venture between the Kazakh government and BAE Systems Plc, is in talks to acquire three Boeing Co. 787-8 planes, President Peter Foster said.

The airline aims to receive the Dreamliner jets in 2014 if the talks conclude with an order, Foster told reporters today in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s biggest city. That order, plus the planned acquisition of six A320s from Airbus SAS, would lead Air Astana to invest more than $500 million through 2015, Foster said.

The list price for the A320 is $81.4 million, according to Airbus. Chicago-based Boeing says the 787-8 lists in a range from $161 million to $171.5 million. Foster didn’t specify what discounts Astana would receive. Astana said in December 2007, without specifying the cost, that it planned to acquire six A320s and three 787-8s.

Air Astana expects to carry 2.5 million passengers this year on domestic flights in Kazakhstan, an increase of more than 20 percent from 2009, Foster said.

It plans to take a first delivery of Embraer 190 aircraft from Brazil’s Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA early next year. The planes will be used on services within the country of 16 million people, which is about four times the size of Texas and is central Asia’s largest energy producer.

Air Astana is 51 percent-owned by the state and 49 percent by London-based BAE, Europe’s biggest defense contractor.

National Wellbeing Fund Samruk-Kazyna, the Kazakh parent of Air Astana, “has medium term plans to do partial listing of some of its units,” Foster said. “We don’t know whether Air Astana will be included in that list.”