Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, has announced plans to resume direct flights between Atyrau in western Kazakhstan and Istanbul, Turkey starting April 26, 2022. The route had been suspended since March 2021 due to travel restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new service will make Atyrau the third city in Kazakhstan with direct Air Astana flights to Istanbul. The airline is also increasing frequencies on its Almaty-Istanbul route to 10 times weekly starting April 17 and upgrading its Nur-Sultan-Istanbul route to daily service beginning April 25.
Industry experts expect the expanded connectivity to boost travel and trade between Kazakhstan and Turkey. Turkey is an important economic partner for Kazakhstan and a popular tourist destination for Kazakh travelers. The new flights will provide western Kazakhstan with convenient access to Istanbul and its extensive air connections to Europe, the Middle East, and beyond.
The growth in Kazakhstan-Turkey services aligns with Air Astana's strategy of strengthening its international network. The airline plans to take delivery of several new Airbus A321LR and Boeing 767-300ER aircraft in 2022-2023, which will allow it to launch new long-haul routes and increase frequencies on existing routes. Air Astana is poised to leverage Kazakhstan's favorable geographic position to connect major Asian and European markets.