What is Air Astana? Many have never heard of the flagship airline of Kazakhstan unless planning a trip to Central Asia. They would then discover that the majority of the routes in the area are dominated by this large airline with its hubs in Almaty and Astana.
I had the same discovery when planning my trip the Stantastic Tour. I flew Air Astana to many of the neighboring countries and on my next trip Winter Wonderland, I flew with them from Frankfurt to Astana, Astana to Almaty, and then Almaty to Kiev.
The airline covers 64 destinations, connecting Kazakhstan to the world.
Is it safe to fly Air Astana? In a short answer, yes. Founded in 2001 the majority state-owned airline has made a name for itself as a safe, reliable, and service oriented airline. This was the only airline from Kazakhstan allowed to fly into the EU until recently. Their fleet of 31 aircraft mostly consist of modern Boeing and Airbus planes outfitted with the newest technology. They have won several awards like Skytrax’s Best Airline Central Asia and India 5 years running.
Its pricing is also very competitive, especially for major routes like between Almaty and Astana. So when given an option, the choice is easy if comparing to another local airline.
“Nomad” is their frequent flyer membership which is linked to Lufthansa and Asiana, but not yet to one of the major alliances.
During my last experience, I was continually impressed by their attention to detail and innovation.
On my direct flight from Frankfurt to Astana, not only did the plane have mood lighting, but the entertainment screens were very responsive and held an impressive amount of films and content.
They also have really unique concepts like an economy sleeper option, which guarantees three seats in a row and the amenities to make it a bed to sleep on for a fare that’s just slightly more than the economy rate. You also get business lounge access with this ticket.
The flight attendants were really friendly and accommodating throughout the service.
Meals were of very good quality and included menus for economy class. Snacks served on shorter flights were generous as well, often including sandwiches.
Another innovative idea is their Stopover Package Program.
This package lets you stay a day while on transit so you can explore the city of Astana or Almaty with prices starting at $1!
As I missed Astana on my last trip, I was excited to try out their program. From Astana airport a driver picked me up and ushered me to the hotel. They partner with top hotels and I chose the Radisson Park Inn. From there I explored Astana. I prefer to explore so I didn’t sign up for their sightseeing tour, but that is also available at an extra charge. The next day after breakfast I was transferred back to the airport the following day to catch my onward flight.
The airport transfers and 4 star hotel stay cost me a total of $1. This by far the best value added experience I’ve had with any airline.
On my last leg from Almaty to Kiev, every passenger received a cookie in the shape of a paper plane to celebrate the country’s Independence Day!
Plus Expo 2017 is in Astana and as Air Astana is the official carrier you can get free Expo tickets if flying with them.
Wherever your trip takes you in Central Asia, rest assured that you will be well cared for when booking an itinerary with Air Astana.