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Aviation hubs in Astana and Almaty to appear

21 July 2015 16:10 (UTC+04:00)
Aviation hubs in Astana and Almaty to appear

By Vusala Abbasova

Kazakhstan plans to create aviation hubs in Astana and Almaty to increase the country’s transportation and logistics turnover by 2020.

Speaking at a briefing in Astana, the Minister for Investment and Development Assets Issekeshev recalled his proposals for the extension of the country's air transportation network.

Issekeshev said that the Civil Aviation Committee of the Ministry for Investment and Development seeks reformation on the country's aviation on the model of the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

Foreign investors are already involved in talks with Kazakhstan to provide the creation of aviation hubs in Astana and Almaty.

The minister highlighted the great achievements of the Astana International Airport that are progressing each year.

The airport provides flights to Frankfurt, Beijing, Istanbul, London, Paris, and Seoul and plans to open flights to Dubai and Hong Kong in 2016, to Tokyo in 2017, Singapore in 2018, and New York and Shanghai in 2019.

Moreover, the minister noted that major steps will be made to simplify visa regime in order to facilitate travel from these and other cities.

Issekeshev said that the share of international and domestic air transportation amounted to 10 percent of the total transport market in Kazakhstan this year.

Kazakhstan's airlines have increased their share in air passenger transportation to 52 percent through their international flights.

The minister paid special attention to the domestic traffic potential that is slated to increase after launch of the Qazaq Air internal airline. Moreover, Issekeshev proposed to introduce an agreement on open skies over Astana during the International financial center and EXPO 2017

Currently, cargo traffic via Kazakhstan amounts to about 17 million tons, accounting for 7.5 percent of country's GDP.

Issekeshev said that Kazakhstan's transport system is planned to expand and modernize in order to increase cargo traffic via the country to 30 million tons by 2020.

For these purposes, the minister offered to expand the three main transit routes, including Russia-Kazakh direction to China, China to Azerbaijan, Georgia and European countries via Kazakhstan, as well as the South Stream from Kazakhstan to India and to Middle Eastern countries via Iran.

Issekeshev also stressed the importance of creating a new Kazakh shipping lane on the Caspian Sea in order to have the competitive seaway for transportation and logistics to Caucasian countries.

The domestic fleet would consist of bulk carriers and ferries. Kazakhstan, therefore, plans to build a plant for the design and assembly of these water vessels.

Moreover, the Minister reminded the country of the significant roles of the Aktau Seaport and Khorgos-East Gate, which are planned to become powerful hubs of the transnational transport corridor.

Meanwhile, the KazAvtoZhol national company will operate Kazakhstan’s new roads and will charge for the passage of trucks on the 7,000 kilometers of highway.

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