Kazakhstan-China airline market: rapid growth boosted by sixth freedom traffic and emerging tourism

Capacity in the Kazakhstan-China market reached record levels in 2017 following the launch of flights by Air China and additional flights from Air Astana. More expansion is expected in 2018, driven primarily by Air Astana.

Air Astana is planning to increase capacity to Hong Kong in 2018 and launch services to Chengdu in 2019. New services to Xian are also included in Air Astana’s medium term business plan, boosting its mainland China network to four destinations and greater China network to five destinations.

Local traffic between Kazakhstan and China is growing as tourism expands from a low base and business ties increase. However, the fastest-growing segment is transit traffic, as Kazakhstan is well placed geographically to attract traffic between China and Europe, including Russia.

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