Air Astana (KC, Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev) will keep its name despite plans to rename the Kazakh capital city, Astana, after the country's former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

In a surprise move, Nazarbayev announced his resignation on March 19 nominating Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as his successor. Shortly after, the Kazakh parliament voted in favour of renaming Astana to Nursultan as a tribute to Nazarbayev, who had been the country's only ruler since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Kazakh Minister of Information and Social Development, Dauren Abayev, later told Khabar TV news that the renaming process would not affect entities that have already adopted the Astana name. These include the Astana Opera, the Astana Arena, local sports clubs, the Astana TV channel, and Air Astana (KC, Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev) among others.

"We will keep the world famous 'Astana' brand and we will develop a new one with even greater potential: 'Nursultan'," the minister said.

Air Astana is the national carrier of Kazakhstan. It is a joint venture between the Kazakh sovereign wealth fund, Samruk-Kazyna, with 51% and UK-based BAe Systems with 49%.