IATA in its 2012 to 2016 passenger traffic forecast that was released in Dec-2012, projects 20.3% annual growth for Kazakhstan’s international market and 22.5% growth for the country’s domestic market. This makes Kazakhstan the fastest growing market in the world, both in terms of domestic and international traffic, by a wide margin.
These figures hardly come as a surprise to Air Astana, which has been riding Kazakhstan’s rapid growth for several years. The flag carrier, which launched services in 2002, has seen its traffic more than double over the last six years from 1.5 million in 2006 to an estimated 3.3 million in 2012.
Kazakhstan is well positioned geographically, located in the north end of Central Asia and just south of Russia. This puts its Almaty and Astana hubs in perfect position to connect Central Asia as well Russia. As its main long-haul hub of Almaty is located in the far eastern corner of Kazakhstan, Air Astana is also well positioned to tap into the fast-growing market connecting the Far East, including neighbouring China, with Central Asia.