Kazakhstan’s national carrier, Air Astana, has achieved a sharp rise in full-year profits, despite a decline in revenues.
The airline has reported a net profit of US$47.4million for 2015, an increase of 144% compared to the previous year. Full-year revenues declined 21% to US$738.1m, but this was offset by a reduction in costs.
Air Astana’s passenger numbers increased 2% to 3.86m in 2015, while seat capacity increased 6%.
“A sharp fall in revenue was more than compensated for by significant cost savings, including, though not limited to, jet fuel savings,” said Air Astana’s president & CEO, Peter Foster. “In spite of extremely challenging local and regional market conditions we were able to grow capacity and add new routes to Paris, Seoul and Tbilisi.”
Looking forward to 2016, Foster said that “currency and commodity price weakness are ongoing challenges”.
“We don’t expect great things from 2016, but with our cost base now amongst the lowest of any full-service airline in the world, we expect to be well placed to take advantage when markets improve. We expect to add new routes to Tehran and Ulan Bator this year, and will take delivery of the first Airbus A320neo mid-year. 2016 will be about keeping our nerve, biding our time, and preparing for the recovery which we expect in 2017.”
Air Astana commenced operations in May 2002 and 2015 marked the airline’s 13th consecutive year of profitability. It currently operates a network of 60 international and domestic routes from hubs in Astana, Almaty and Atyrau, using a fleet of 30 Boeing 767, B757, Airbus A320 and Embraer E190 aircraft.