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Kazakhstan aviation: Air Astana sixth freedom traffic drove growth in 2017, despite slow outbound

Passenger growth has resumed in Kazakhstan, driven by a surge in visitor numbers and sixth freedom traffic. The domestic and outbound international markets remain relatively weak, impacted by a sluggish economy.

Air Astana recorded double-digit passenger growth in 2017, for the first time in four years. Sixth freedom transit traffic grew by more than 50%, driving 12% overall growth, and now accounts for 35% of the flag carrier’s international traffic.

Kazakhstan’s second largest airline, SCAT, grew at even faster rate of approximately 30%. SCAT accounted for nearly 20% of total passenger traffic in Kazakhstan in 2017, while the market leader Air Astana accounted for nearly 50%.

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