Kazakh Prime Minister Raises Issue Regarding Domestic Air Astana Airfares

Air Ticket Price May Decrease In Kazakhstan

The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev was interested in the investigation against Air Astana at the session of the Kazakh Government. The Prime Minister was concerned the price of air tickets for domestic flights, especially en route Astana – Almaty.

“There are some questions on domestic airfares, especially en route Astana – Almaty. The Ministry of National Economy was investigating. I just wanted to see what the situation is now. Have they completed their work or it is still going?” Mr. Sagintayev asked the Minister of National Economy Kuandyk Bishimbaev.

According to Mr. Bishimbaev, Air Astana refuses to provide data related to the cost of flight operations.

“Currently, the situation is such that, indeed, as regards some destinations, there is a very significant increase in air ticket tariffs for domestic transportation including such domestic air routes, as Astana – Uralskand Astana – Almaty. Our service of the Natural Monopolies Committee is trying to figure out the cost. Unfortunately, the Air Company currently refuses to provide any data related with the cost of flight operations. I, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Samruk-Kazyna Fund, want to formally submit a request to this Fund and, accordingly, to the subsidiaries for all calculations relating to the cost of flights. Once these data are obtained, one can make a decision, whether the price increase is a abuse of the monopoly position”, Mr. Bishimbayev said.

According to Mr. Sagintayev, one needs to finish the work, and to take action on the results of this investigation.

Recall, antitrust investigation is carried out in respect of Air Astana for fixing monopolistically high prices for air services. On October 7, 2016, one has instituted administrative proceedings due to the fact that employees of the Ministry of National Economy were not allowed to enter the office of Air Astana.