Embraer has celebrated the entry into service of the first of two EMBRAER 190 jets with Air Astana, the national flag carrier of Kazakhstan, in a ceremony at the airline’s headquarters, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The airline will operate the airplane on a lease agreement from Jetscape, Inc., the Florida-based aircraft leasing company. Air Astana also signed a lease agreement with Air Lease Corp. for two additional aircraft, which are scheduled to be delivered in 2011 and 2012, and is discussing the acquisition of two additional EMBRAER 190 jets directly with Embraer.
Air Astana selected the EMBRAER 190 to right size routes and fill a capacity gap between its Fokker and Airbus fleets. Air Astana’s EMBRAER 190 is configured in a dual-class layout, with 97 seats – nine in Business Class and 88 in Economy Class. The aircraft are slated to fly on a mix of domestic and international city pairs from both Almaty and Astana.
“Air Astana joins our growing list of customers who have embraced the E-Jets philosophy of low operating cost, high flexibility and outstanding passenger appeal. I’m pleased that such a reputable and progressive airline will be showcasing the EMBRAER 190 to this important region of the world where we see huge potential,” said Paulo César de Souza e Silva, President, Embraer Commercial Jets.
Peter Foster, President of Air Astana, commented on the decision to acquire the EMBRAER 190. “The aircraft’s seating capacity will efficiently complement our narrow body fleet, flying where it would be uneconomical to deploy larger aircraft, without compromising passenger comfort. Its range, efficiency and size are ideal for Air Astana and will enable us to grow our domestic and Central Asia network.”
Air Astana also has signed a service contract for Embraer’s Pool Flight Hour Program to cover its EMBRAER 190s in operation. The program gives Air Astana quick access to spare parts from Embraer’s distribution and service centers, eliminating the need for the airline to invest in a large inventory of replacement items.
Since they entered revenue service in 2004, Embraer (embraer.com) has delivered more than 700 E-Jets to nearly 60 airlines from some 40 countries around the world. The versatile 70- to 120-seat, four-aircraft family is flying with low cost airlines, on regional routes and with mainline carriers. The current E-Jets order book has a backlog of nearly 1,000 firm orders.
About Air Astana
Air Astana (airastana.com) commenced regular flight operations in May 2002 and currently operates a network that serves 23 domestic and 31 international destinations from its hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Air Astana flies an all-western fleet of 24 leased aircraft and is a member of IATA. It is the only airline in Kazakhstan with EASA Part 145 aircraft maintenance approval. The company focuses on providing the highest standards of quality and service to meet the needs of Kazakhstan, which has one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna (51%) and BAE Systems PLC (49%).
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