Air Astana was incorporated in late 2001 and its maiden flight was on the 15th May 2002. 

The inaugural was attended by President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Sir Richard Evans, representing the two shareholders, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and BAE Systems PLC of the UK. 

These shareholders remain committed partners in the airline, with the Government holding a 51 percent share through its Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, and BAE Systems PLC holding 49 percent.

Operating to the highest standards

Air Astana has European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Part 145 approval to maintain its fleet in according with EASA requirements.

In May 2015 Air Astana successfully completed the International Air Transport Association's Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for the fifth time. In October 2015 Air Astana completed the (EASA) Third Country Operators (TCO) certification audit with zero findings. The airline is also certified as an EASA Part 147 Training Organisation.

Growing the fleet

Today Air Astana operates a fleet of 34 western aircraft with an average age of 8.45 years. It operates over 60 domestic and international routes. Its passengers are served by more than 4,700 highly qualified staff, the majority of whom are from Kazakhstan, supplemented by experienced foreign personnel. Since autumn 2005 the Air Astana team has been headed by Peter Foster, an airline executive with more than 30 years of management experience. 

Air Astana has purchase orders in place for Boeing 787, Airbus A320NEO and Embraer 190 family aircraft. These will expand the fleet to 33 aircraft by the end of 2017, and to 43 aircraft by 2020.