Kazakh carrier FlyArystan is further expanding its international footprint with new routes to the capital cities of India and Tajikistan.
The airline, a subsidiary of Air Astana, began flying to New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in May 2023, offering two flights per week from Shymkent International Airport in Kazakhstan. A second service to the Indian airport will begin on Sept. 24, operating from Almaty International Airport (ALA).
The move comes after Kazakhstan’s government introduced visa-free travel for passengers from India in July 2022, allowing a continuous visa-free stay in the country for up to 14 days. FlyArystan says this has helped to increase demand from India.
Although 3X-weekly frequencies are initially planned for the ALA-DEL sector, the LCC expects to grow capacity over the coming months, as well as opening routes to other cities in India.
Air Astana is currently the sole provider of nonstop flights between the cities, offering nine round trips per week using a mix of Airbus A320s, A321s and A320neos at present. However, Indian LCC IndiGo intends to enter the market the day before FlyArystan’s first flight.
IndiGo will operate three services per week from Sept. 23 as part of a strategy to capture more traffic from Central Asia. The airline commenced service to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku on Aug. 11 and will begin flying to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 22.
Alongside the Indian growth, FlyArystan will commence operations between Astana and Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in October. Flights will be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows SCAT previously served the two cities until the onset of the pandemic and is yet to return to the market.
In late July, FlyArystan announced plans to launch a 2X-weekly route from Astana to Urumqi, China. Service starts on Sept. 21. Speaking to Aviation Week, Managing Director Adrian Hamilton-Manns says the airline intends to serve four Chinese cities.
“We already have plans to operate to four cities: Urumchi is the first, with the next opportunity being Xi’an,” he says. “Initially from Astana we will also launch services from Almaty and other cities in Kazakhstan. Our modelling shows a large volume of demand for China.”
Hamilton-Manns adds that FlyArystan hopes to add Oman, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to its network in the near term and is evaluating Abu Dhabi and routes into Eastern Europe from its bases in the Kazakh cities of Aktau and Atyrau.
To accommodate this growth, the carrier intends to add three more A320ceo/neo aircraft to its current fleet of 15, reaching a total of 18 aircraft by the end of 2023.
Source: Aviation Week