Kazakhstan has postponed the planned privatisations of Air Astana (KC, Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev) and Qazaq Air (IQ, Almaty), the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on June 10.

A meeting of the State Commission on Issues of the Modernisation of the Economy chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin considered the previously outlined selloffs of key strategic assets before transferring them to what is hoped will be a “more competitive environment in 2021-2023,” the statement said.

The assets currently belong to Samruk-Kazyna, the Central Asian nation's sovereign wealth fund. The Comprehensive Privatisation Plan for 2016–2020 includes 167 of the fund's companies, 21 of ​​which are already in the process of implementation, liquidation, or reorganisation.

The two airlines are on the list for a further delay in their transfer to state hands, alongside the national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), energy giant KazMunayGas, mining company Tau Ken Samruk, and Samruk-Energy.

In November 2019, it was reported that Air Astana had delayed plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to 2020, along with KazMunayGas and telecoms giant Kazakhtelecom.

Kazakhstan is using three methods to sell its assets. Larger national enterprises such as Air Astana and KazMunayGas are to be sold through a series of IPOs, while mid-sized companies, some of which are already joint ventures with foreign investors, are being sold via direct negotiations. Hundreds of smaller firms are being divested mostly via electronic auctions.

While Qazaq Air currently operates a fleet of five Dash 8-400s, Air Astana has eight A320-200s, four A320-200neo, two A321-200s, four A321-200neo, two A321neo(LR)s, three B767-300(ER)s, and five E190s, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows.