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 AIR ASTANA PLACES ORDERS TOPPING USD$1 BLN

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PostSubject: AIR ASTANA PLACES ORDERS TOPPING USD$1 BLN   Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:46 pm

February 2, 2012

Kazakhstan's flagship carrier Air Astana has placed orders for 15 new planes worth more than USD$1 billion in total, Air Astana president Peter Foster said on Wednesday.

The airline, 51-percent owned by Kazakh's sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna and 49 percent by Britain's BAE Systems, currently serves 80 percent of the Central Asian state's domestic and international routes.

Air Astana has ordered six A320 single-aisle aircraft from Airbus, four Boeing 767 wide-body planes and three Boeing 787 Dreamliners, as well as two Embraer 190 regional jets, Foster told a meeting at Kazakhstan's transport and communications ministry.

He gave no time frame for the delivery of the aircraft or other details of the deal. He said however that the purchase would be financed from Air Astana's own funds and no state subsidies or additional shareholder funds would be drawn.

Air Astana, which made its first flight in 2002, now has a fleet of 26 aircraft.

Samruk-Kazyna said in October last year that Air Astana had been due for a "people's IPO". Between 5 and 15 percent of Air Astana shares may be offered to individual private investors this year.

(Reuters)

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