Kazakhstan’s Qazaq Air To Begin International Operations

Kazakhstan's Air Astana adds maiden A321neo

Qazaq Air (IQ, Almaty) is hoping to take advantage of the Kazakh government’s decision to implement a temporary Open Skies policy in 2017 to begin international operations a year ahead of schedule.

Airline commercial director, Adel Dauletbek told Russia’s ATO.ru that existing Kazakh legislation requires an airline to exclusively ply domestic routes for a period three years before it ventures into the international market. Having launched in 2015, Qazaq Air would have to wait until 2018 before it would be eligible.

As such, Dauletbek said the carrier hopes government will be more amenable to relaxing its regulations ahead of next year’s Expo 2017 which will be held in Astana between June 10 and September 10, 2017.

Among the first destinations Qazaq Air would serve from hubs at Aktau and Almaty include the Russian cities of Ekaterinburg, Omsk, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, and Chelyabinsk. Other destinations considered are in other ex-CIS states such as Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, Dauletbek said.

Qazaq Air currently operates three Dash 8-400s on flights to the Kazakh cities of Pavlodar, Kostanay, Shimkent, Taldy Kurgan, Aktyubinsk, Kzyl-Orda, and Uralsk.