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Kazakh airline fleet: growth, and fleet renewal from major airframers

In Oct-2018 Kazakhstan is poised to become the first country with aircraft from all three families of new generation single aisle re-engined aircraft. Air Astana became one of the first A320neo operators in 2016, and later this year will become one of the first Embraer E190-E2 operators. Kazakhstan’s second largest airline, SCAT, took delivery of its first 737 MAX 8 at the end of Mar-2018.

For all three new aircraft types to be operating in Kazakhstan represents a major transformation, given that the market has historically been dominated by ageing aircraft and Russian models. Kazakhstan became independent in 1991, but for years its airlines continued to operate Soviet era aircraft.

Change began with Air Astana, which has only ever operated Western aircraft in its 16-year history and took its first new aircraft nearly 10 years ago. SCAT has been around for over 20 years but only phased out its last Russian aircraft in 2016, and the 737 MAX 8 marks the first time the airline has ever taken delivery of a new Western aircraft.

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