15 Apr 2024 15:08

Air Astana enters strategic partnership with Neos

ASTANA. April 15 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan's flag carrier Air Astana Group and Italy's air carrier Neos SpA have inked a memorandum of understanding to enter a strategic partnership, Air Astana said in a press release published on the London Stock Exchange.

Air Astana and Neos "will consider and evaluate the formation of a joint-venture for route(s) between Italy and Kazakhstan, where regulatory, anti-trust and governmental authority permits", according to the press release.

The strategic partnership will provide for the signature of a codeshare agreement under which Air Astana will apply a marketing code to Neos-operated flights between Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Almaty (ALA) and vice versa.

The memorandum also envisages service collaboration on Boeing aircraft from 2025 when Air Astana Group will receive delivery of three Boeing 787-900.

"Where permitted, the Parties will share technical and operation insights gained during existing operations by Neos and entrance into service by Air Astana," the press release says.

Neos SpA, which is the second Italian airline and part of the Alpitour group, announced earlier plans to open regular air services between Astana and Rome, Astana and Milan.

Air Astana, the largest airline in Kazakhstan, held an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in February 2024, raising nearly $370 million and valuing the entire company at $847 million. Shareholders of the carrier now include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (5%) and the Unified Accumulative Pension Fund of Kazakhstan (6.5%). Notably, the shares of previous shareholders, the Samruk-Kazyna state fund and British BAE Systems, decreased to 41% and 15.6%, respectively.