Aktau, Aktobe, and Almaty airports have suffered operational disruptions after anti-government protesters took over their premises. The Aktobe and Almaty facilities have since reopened but most flights remain suspended.

The demonstrators entered Almaty and Aktau airports on January 5, 2022, according to Orda.kz news website. The pro-government broadcaster Khabar24 reported that on January 6, Aktobe airport had also been closed. Russian pro-government news Sputnik has reported, citing sources on the ground, that the protesters did not inflict any damage on airport infrastructure or parked aircraft.

Almaty airport was reportedly recaptured by government forces on January 5, according to Deputy Mayor Yerzhan Babakumarov. It is expected to reopen to limited traffic on January 7, even as most carriers suspended flights to the city. By the evening of January 6, Aktobe airport was reopened after security forces removed protesters from the facility. There is no evidence that Aktau airport, located in the city where protests first erupted on January 2, has reopened.

Embattled President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the demonstrators - "terrorist gangs" in his parlance - allegedly vandalised five aircraft parked at Almaty airport, including foreign units. However, there is no evidence that this allegation is true. Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows that there are 37 aircraft currently parked at Almaty airport - all of them operated by Air Astana, SCAT Airlines, and smaller Kazakh airlines - although due to an imposed internet blackout, ADS-B coverage in Kazakhstan is currently unreliable, and the accuracy of this data is unclear. The limited coverage does not show a single aircraft arriving at or departing from Almaty airport since January 6.

Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev airport, which serves the Kazakh capital, has not been closed, although late evening flights scheduled to arrive or depart after the 2300L (1700Z) curfew have been cancelled.

Lufthansa, Aeroflot, Belavia, flydubai, Jazeera Airways and Air Arabia have all cancelled flights to Almaty until further notice while Aeroflot has also suspended operations to Nur-Sultan.

Separately, Air Astana said that all of its flights would remain suspended through January 7 due to the internet blackout, which has rendered dispatching and maintenance impossible. The carrier announced that domestic services from Nur-Sultan to Atyrau, Shimkent, and Turkistan would restart on January 7, followed by international services to Frankfurt Int'l, Kutaisi, and Dubai Int'l on January 8-9. It said that its operations from Almaty remained suspended but stressed its staff in the city were safe.

The Kazakh government has denied media reports that it has banned the arrival of all foreigners to the country.

The unrest in Kazakhstan began on January 2 in the western cities of Aktau and Zhanaozhen, sparked by the substantial rise in gas prices. Although Tokayev promised to freeze the prices and dismissed the government of Prime Minister Askar Mamin, the protests against his authoritarian rule have continued to escalate. In increasingly violent confrontations, dozens of protesters and at least 18 government troops have been killed. Tokayev has requested military assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russia-led NATO lookalike, which has already dispatched Russian and Belarusian troops to Kazakhstan.