development of inbound tourism to Kazakhstan, with the event expected to attract more than two million visitors from Kazakhstan and around the world. We have already signed several major contracts with local and foreign companies worth ¤111 million.”

International departure capacity

A new hub for Central Asia Astana International Airport is preparing itself for the growth and an expanded terminal structure is under construction to grow capacity to handle the expected rise in domestic and international traffic. While the independently managed Almaty International Airport is already suffering capacity issues at peak times, the capital’s airport is set to more than double from its present capacity of 3.6 million passengers per annum to almost 8.2 million ahead of the opening of Expo 2017. New links from flydubai to Dubai, KLM to

Amsterdam (with an onward leg to Almaty), Qazaq Air to Taldykorgan and Air Astana to Bangkok and Dubai (replacing an Abu Dhabi service), and capacity growth on existing routes, means capacity at Astana International Airport is up 10.8% this summer on last year. Air Astana is also completing a network review that will likely see Astana become the main hub of its operations as it seeks to take advantage of transfer flows to support the traditionally small O&D flows across its international network. “We have only a small home market so a

transfer model is key to the development of Astana as the financial centre of Kazakhstan,” Paulo Ricciotti, advisor to the chairman of state-controlled Airport Management Group explained to Routes News. “We will never become the Doha or Dubai of this world for sure, but we can certainly become a hub into our extended home markets and develop Astana International Airport, as the hub for Central Asia, connecting a major city with secondary cities across the region,” he added. A plan to construct a new international

terminal by the current structure, built in 2005, and transfer that to domestic operations has grown into an integrated model that will allow the airport to expand and contract during variations in domestic and international traffic flows and allow local carrier Air Astana to more efficiently operate its fleet between local and foreign routes. The new facility is due for completion by the end of January 2017 and a three- month operational delivery programme will be completed ahead of a soft opening around May 2017 and the opening of Expo 2017 the subsequent month. The airport has also built a new business aviation terminal to grow executive movements and handle VIP arrivals and departures. £


250,000 500,000 750,000 1,000,000 1,250,000 1,500,000 1,750,000

0 Source: OAG Schedules Analyser

Almaty (ALA) Astana (TSE)

Rixos Borovoe sets the tourism scene

Kazakhstan’s only five-star resort hotel, the Rixos Borovoe resort (above), is located on the banks of Lake Shchuchye in the Burabay national park in the north of the country. The modern 200-room hotel is an example of the newly developing

tourism product now available in Kazakhstan. “Mostly our guests are aged 25 to 45, and travel with young children

as we are considered a family hotel,” explains Artur Zinullin, sales and marketing manager, Rixos Borovoe. “We also have meetings and events facilities and are occupied by MICE groups during weekdays and, of course, casino guests as well.” The majority of guests at the facility are domestic visitors from

Kazakhstan, many living and working in Astana and visiting to escape from the growing city. There are also strong flows from Russia, with the region located close to the border to the federation’s industrial regions. “The government is now paying a lot of attention to developing the

tourism industry and Borovoe is on its priority list. Due to the upcoming Expo 2017 we have seen much interest from tourism agencies in China and Europe, complementing the rising interest from Russian tourists,” adds Zinullin.

Number of international departures

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

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