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Kazakhstan’s Civil Aviation Soars to New Heights with 25 Additional International Routes

By Vusala Abbasova May 30, 2023

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The expansion of international flight routes is expected to foster enhanced trade and economic partnerships, investment opportunities, tourism, and cultural exchanges between Kazakhstan and other nations.

Central Asia’s largest country has announced ambitious plans to introduce 25 new international flights by 2025 as part of its ongoing efforts to bolster the civil aviation industry.

Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, speaking at a government meeting, emphasized that these new flight routes would significantly contribute to the further development of multilateral cooperation.

“The country’s civil aviation embarks on a new path of its post-pandemic development,” stated Smailov, as reported by inform.kz on Tuesday.

“The number of passengers is growing. The flights were resumed, and new flights are launched. 8 new routes will open this year. 17 more flights including en route to New York, Geneva, Singapore, Vienna, and Paris will be launched by 2025.”

The expansion of international flight routes is expected to foster enhanced trade and economic partnerships, investment opportunities, tourism, and cultural exchanges between Kazakhstan and other nations.

Currently, three domestic and 26 foreign airlines operate over 700 domestic flights per week across 56 routes, as well as international flights to 27 countries covering 103 routes. These flights connect Kazakhstan to eight CIS countries via 46 routes, seven Middle Eastern countries via 34 routes, seven Southeast Asian countries via 16 routes, and five European countries via seven routes.

Smailov underscored that, following the pandemic, the domestic civil aviation sector is entering a new phase of development, with an increasing number of passengers, the reinstatement of previously disrupted flights, and the establishment of new air routes. However, he acknowledged the existence of certain challenges within the aviation industry that must be addressed.

“In some airports of the country it is necessary to repair the runways. Almost everywhere outdated special equipment is used: ramps, refueling machines, tractors. International standards of airdrome area are not complied with, when the land around airports is used for residential and business buildings. This affects flight safety," Smailov outlined.

Kazakhstan, with a population of slightly over 19 million people, has reported 1,411,831 cases of COVID-19 infections and 13,848 deaths since March 2020. The government's stringent measures to contain the virus severely impacted economic activities throughout the country in 2020. Industries such as mining, wholesale and retail trade, professional and scientific activities, and construction experienced significant revenue declines compared to the previous year, with the airline industry being among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

In 2022, Kazakh airlines transported 11 million passengers, representing a 17 percent increase compared to 2021 (9.4 million passengers). Additionally, during January to April of this year, the number of passengers surged by 38 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching 3.6 million individuals.