Kazakhstans national carrier, Air Astana, continues to position itself as a serious player in the world airline market.
The latest news is that they have signed a code share agreement with Korea’s Asiana Airlines.
Air Astana and Asiana signed a code share agreement. Cooperation in air freight might follow / source: KC - OZ
The agreement is of course presently designed for a passenger code share between both carriers, but surely this can open more doors for Air Astana to expand its cargo product in the near
CargoForwarder Global has reported during the past months on Air Astana’s plans for pushing its cargo services and offering to the airfreight community a step further.
The recent introduction of brand new Boeing 767 aircraft with far better belly capacity has been one of the important factors for better passenger and cargo capacity on their prime routes to and from Europe.
The agreement with Asiana gives Air Astana better access to the Asian and North American markets.
Therefore, why should they not consider expanding this into the cargo sector by acquiring space on Asiana widebodies for the carriage of cargo, especially from the USA, into their own system?
It is well known that Air Astana does not have an own freighter fleet despite the fact that cargo flows to Kazakhstan continue to rise quickly.
This applies mainly to equipment which is urgently needed for the oil and gas industry in that country.
Traffic of both carriers between Almaty and Seoul has increased steadily during the past couple of years.
Now is maybe the time to firm up a good cargo agreement which can benefit both carriers and ensure better and more regular cargo flows into this fast developing country.
On another note - Air Astana also was recently voted as one of the 20 best airlines in the world for its on board service and punctuality by Business Insider.
They moved from 18th place up to 12th and according to the survey were ahead of carriers such as Etihad, Turkish and Cathay Pacific.
Hopefully, they can reach that status on the cargo side sometime in the future.
John Mc Donagh