Air Astana promotes six former Ab-Initio graduate pilots to captain


Air Astana has held a ceremony to mark the promotion of six of the original Ab-Initio graduate  pilots to Captain following many years of serving as First Officers with the airline. The new Captains,Akhmetov Talgat, Chugay Victor, Agmurov Berdykhan, Turgambayev Timur, Suleimanov Roma and Petin Dmitriy will all serve the A320 fleet. Two further pilots from the first Ab-Initio programme and are finalising their training for Captain and will be promoted in April.

The new captains were honored by Air Astana’s senior management and aviation veterans of the World War II, who gave congratulatory words of support to the young generation of pilots.

Almost 200  Kazakh pilots have graduated from the Ab-Initio programme since it was first launched in 2008, with the vast majority now serving  as First Officers with Air Astana. Around 20 new cadet pilots join the programme every year, with student pilots undertaking training at either the Atlantic Flight Training Academy in  Cork, Ireland or at Flight Training Europe in Jerez, Spain.

The Ab-Initio programme provides opportunities for a new  generation of Kazakh pilots and helps  alleviate a shortage of the qualified flight personnel.The training course lasts up to 18 months and costs approximately US$100,000 per cadet.  The airline makes 100% prepayment for training, with the cadet  only required to reimburse half of the amount throughout their employment with Air Astana.

Citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, aged from 18 to 34, with a good command of English, as well as knowledge in physics and mathematics, can participate in the programme. 

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