Air Astana’s low-cost subsidiary, FlyArystan, has taken delivery of its first brand new aircraft in Toulouse, France. The aircraft, named Leo after the star constellation, is the 12th to enter the FlyArystan fleet. However, it is the first brand new aircraft for the airline, with previous jets coming from the parent airline, Air Astana.
FlyArystan has named the new aircraft Leo. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying
It is always cause for celebration when an airline takes delivery of a brand new plane, and especially when it is the first of something. To celebrate, airlines typically hold events when collecting the aircraft and/or when it arrives at its new home base. FlyArystan will do both with its newest addition.
Taking delivery of a new plane
FlyArystan took delivery of its first brand new aircraft in Toulouse yesterday morning. The aircraft, due to be leased from Aviation Capital Group is registered as EI-KBP. The aircraft was handed over in the morning during a ceremony held on the Airbus campus at Toulouse Blagnac Airport (TLS).
The aircraft is the first brand new plane to be delivered to FlyArystan. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying
Speeches were given by representatives of Airbus, Aviation Capital Group, and FlyArystan. The airline’s Managing Director, Adrian Hamilton-Manns, remarked that the eight additional seats on the A320neo would give the airline a four percent cost saving.
FlyArystan’s new aircraft is named Leo, after the star constellation, with further aircraft due to be named after other constellations. Leo was a natural first choice as every FlyArystan plane sports a red lion on its tail, and a white lion on its belly.
Leo is leased from Aviation Capital Group. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying
The aircraft, MSN 11120, is less than a month old. According to data from ch-aviation.com, the plane took its first flight on September 15th, just two weeks ago. The aircraft is due to fly to Kazahkstan today and will be welcomed to Kazakhstan during a party in Almaty on Tuesday evening.
Big growth planned
FlyArystan won’t stop at 12 planes. Hamilton-Manns told Simple Flying and other assembled press that he hopes to be operating 20 aircraft by the end of 2023, further expanding the network operated by Air Astana’s subsidiary.
The aircraft was delivered during a ceremony in Toulouse yesterday. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying
The airline has been well received in Kazakhstan, filling a low-cost market that previously didn’t exist and converting passengers away from long-distance train services. This is shown by how many passengers the Air Astana Group carried in the 2021 financial year. Between them, Air Astana and FlyArystan carried 6.6 million passengers last year. Just under half of these (3.1 million) traveled with FlyArystan.
2021 was FlyArystan’s first full year of typical operations after it launched in mid-2019, and 2020 was a write-off in the words of Group CEO Peter Foster, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the 2021 financial year, the Air Astana Group posted a profit of $36.1 million, its second-largest profit since 2016.
What do you make of FlyArystan’s first brand-new aircraft? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!