Posted on: 04 December 2018 by Mark Howells
Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana has received its first Embraer E190-E2 after the aircraft, in special Snow Leopard livery, arrived at Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport in Astana.
The twin-engine aircraft landed after ferry flights from the manufacturer’s factory in São José dos Campos, Brazil and is the first of five E2s scheduled to be delivered to the airline, which placed the original order in August last year.
Air Astana currently operates a fleet of nine E190s on domestic and low-density regional services, with the first aircraft having entered service in 2011. The E2s will be replacing the older existing E190s.
The airline said the new aircraft was in the striking Snow Leopard livery to draw global attention to the threat of extinction faced by the large wild cat, a native of Kazakhstan’s remote southern mountain ranges.
Air Astana operates flights to over 60 domestic and international routes from hubs in Astana and Almaty, and currently has a fleet of Boeing 767, 757, Airbus A319, A320, A320neo, A321, A321neo and Embraer 190 aircraft. It is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund, Samruk Kazyna, and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.
The airline also recently revealed it will be launching a low-fare carrier, FlyArystan, during the first half of 2019. The new airline will initially operate a fleet of A320 aircraft configured in a 180-seat single economy class, with plans to offer prices mostly on domestic routes for approximately half the cost of Air Astana’s fares. The goal is to grow its fleet to at least 15 by 2022.