Air Astana has reported a loss of $94 million for 2020. The 2020 figure, just the second-ever annual loss for the flag-carrier of Kazakhstan, was the result of total or partial shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The closures resulted in capacity and revenue falls of 47 per cent and 55 per cent, respectively.
Total passengers carried fell by 28 per cent to 3.7 million.
However, the carrier is estimating financial performance for the combined months of January and February are at the highest level since 2017 as the fightback begins. Commenting on the results, Air Astana chief executive, Peter Foster, stated: “While the devastating effect of the pandemic on international travel needs no elaboration, the airline is resilient.
“Domestic air travel recovered strongly from May, and our low-cost carrier FlyArystan recorded 110 per cent passenger growth.
“Cargo had a good year, helped by the conversion of a Boeing 767 into an all-freight configuration, and the partially-restored international network, together with new leisure routes, recorded improved yields and load factors in the final weeks of the year.
“We are seeing these trends continue into 2021, hence the improved outlook for this year.”
In recent months Air Astana has restored some flights to Moscow; Dubai; Tashkent; Frankfurt; Seoul; Bishkek; Kiev; Istanbul; Antalya as well as Sharm El Sheikh; in addition to starting flights to The Maldives, Mattala (Sri Lanka) and Hurghada (Egypt).
The airline retired its fleets of Boeing 757 and Embraer 190 aircraft in 2020.
It now operates exclusively Airbus 321 Long Range and also late-model Boeing 767s on its major international routes.