Revenue grew 13% to $394 million from $346 million, thanks to an 11% increase in available seat kilometers, but profits fell due to higher fuel prices, the airline says.
“The first half was challenging due to fuel price increases of more than 140% over the same period last year. The first quarter in particular was very tough.” says Foster.
“The second half, traditionally our strong period, is looking more promising as fuel prices have come off slightly and cost savings in other areas kick in. All markets with the exception of Europe continue to grow and we are confident of a 10th straight year of profitability.
“In particular our ‘extended home market strategy’ of developing routes to and from our near neighbors continues to gather pace. These markets are small but have terrific growth potential,” Foster adds.
Air Astana recently launched services from Kazakhstan’s capital Astana to Omsk in southeast Russia; Baku in Azerbaijan; Shymkent in southern Kazakhstan and Aktau in western Kazakhstan. It also launched a service from Kazakhstan’s commercial capital Almaty to Kazan in southern Russia.