The Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan (AAK) has granted FlyArystan (KC, Astana Nursultan Nazarbayev) its own Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), following “an extensive audit and examination process”, both parties announced in separate press releases.

The AOC was issued on April 1 and allows FlyArystan to align its operations “more effectively with its low-cost carrier model and pursue additional growth opportunities” separate to parent Air Astana (KC, Astana Nursultan Nazarbayev), it said.

Since launching in 2019, FlyArystan had operated under its Air Astana's permit. However, it became its own legal entity in December 2023, amid talks of possible privatisation to help counter the high market share controlled by the three state-owned airlines, Air Astana, FlyArystan, and Qazaq Air (IQ, Astana Nursultan Nazarbayev).

Peter Foster, Chief Executive of the Air Astana Group, said FlyArystan expects to grow its fleet to 24 aircraft in 2024, making this the right time to obtain its own AOC, as it provides the framework for international expansion.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that FlyArystan operates a fleet of 19 aircraft, including eleven A320-200s, and eight A320-200Ns. Air Astana as a group has a fleet comprising 50 aircraft (including FlyArystan’s sub fleet).

The AAK said FlyArystan obtaining a separate air operator's certificate will help foster competition in the Kazakh market.