By Kamila Aliyeva
Kazakhstan ranks second in ensuring the safety of flights among the CIS countries, Kazakh Minister for Investments and Development Zhenis Kasymbek said at government meeting on January 23.
The country is a full-fledged participant of the world aviation market, according to the official.
"In 2016, an ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization] safety audit was conducted and 74 percent of compliance with requirements was confirmed. Today, among the CIS countries, we are the second in this indicator and the 73rd among the countries participating in ICAO. Over the years Air Astana has become the region's leader in aviation transportation. For the last six years, the company ranked first as the best company in Central Asia and India and has one of the youngest aviation parks in the age of 6-8 years. At the same time, we are working towards ensuring that Kazakhstan's aviation meets 80 percent of ICAO requirements by 2020. Thus, it will enter the 51st aviation administration of the world,” he noted.
He informed that according to the results of the last year the growth of air transportation by the Kazakh companies was 21 percent.
“This is the best indicator for all the years of independence. Expo played an important role. Transit of passengers through Kazakhstan grew by almost 30 percent. Freight transportation by air increased by 24 percent,” Kasymbek noted.
The ministry set a task to increase the transit flow through the republic up to 1.6 million passengers, the volume of aviation works - by 30 percent, and to double the volume of cargo transportation by air before 2020, according to the minister.
Earlier, the Civil Aviation Committee of the Kazakh Ministry of Investment and Development announced the launch of a number of international flights in Kazakhstan in 2018. Moreover, the committee will conduct 59 certifications and 434 inspections of air transport enterprises in 2018 in order to control the safety of flights.
In 2017, ten new international routes were opened, including by foreign carriers (Finn Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Wizz Air, Air China) in direction of Warsaw, Budapest, Helsinki, Beijing and Batumi as well as Kazakhstan airlines to destinations of Xi'an, Kiev, Minvody, Yerevan and Delhi.
At the same time, 20 flights a week were added to the current flight in eleven destinations, that is to Bishkek, Istanbul, Beijing, London, Seoul, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Omsk, St. Petersburg, and Tashkent.
There have been several crashes including the one on October 3, 2017, that killed five people in Kazakhstan. At the time, an Antonov An-28 ambulance plane fell near Almaty. On August 10, a training aircraft Tecnam 2002 collapsed in the Almaty region and two people were killed.
A similar catastrophe occurred on July 25 as a two-seater private plane crashed. As a result, a pilot was killed and a passenger was injured. Almost a month before that, the Yak-12 aircraft, owned by the airline Kazavia, crashed, and two people died.
Kazakhstan has airports in Shimkent, Atbasar, Karaganda, Kyzyl-Orda, Balkhash, Burundai, Zaisan, Petropavlovsk, Semipalatinsk, Ust-kamenogorsk, Uralsk, Taldy-Kurgan, Kokshetau, Pavlodar, Zhezkazgan, Atyrau, Zhambyl, Zhairem, Ekibastuz, Almaty, Aktau, Kostanay, Aktyubinsk, Arkalyk, and Astana cities.
Kazakhstan's existing airlines are Air Astana, Air Company MEGA, Avia Jaynar, Bek Air, Berkut Air, Euro-Asia Air, Excellent Glide, Irtysh-Air, SCAT, Semeyavia, Zhetysu, and Zhezkazgan Air.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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