Boeing Wins Big Order From Kazakh Airline

Air Astana ordered four extended-range Boeing 767s and three Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Boeing Co. on Thursday said it has won an order from Kazakhstan's Air Astana for seven new aircraft, worth $1.3 billion at list value.

Air Astana ordered four extended-range Boeing 767s and three Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the all-new plane built largely from carbon-reinforced plastics.

The order is "the largest single order for commercial airplanes in Kazakhstan's history," Boeing said.

Air Astana was founded in 2001 and is owned by the Kazakh government and BAE Systems of Britain, which holds a 49% stake. Commercial aircraft purchases often are discounted from the list price.

"Our decision to order the Boeing airplanes is part of Air Astana's long-term growth strategy to expand and modernize our fleet with newer, more fuel-efficient airplanes to serve domestic, regional and international routes," Air Astana President Peter Foster said in a written statement.

Air Astana, which had its maiden flight in May 2002, has a fleet of 26 Western-made aircraft with an average age of 11 years, and 3,500 employees.

The airline flies nearly 50 domestic and international routes. Its long-haul destinations include London, Amsterdam, Seoul, Beijing, Bangkok and New Delhi. It also serves destinations in the former Soviet Union and Turkey.

Air Astana, which recently ordered Airbus A320 and Embraer 190 aircraft, plans to build its fleet to 34 planes by 2016, and to 43 by 2020.

So far this year, Boeing has booked a net 385 orders for its commercial aircraft.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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