The number of flights to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and Germany will be cut from today. The weekly frequency of flights to Istanbul will decrease from 16 to 12, weekly services to Dubai will fall from 12 to eight, while Kiev will now only see one weekly departure, down from three. Frankfurt will see services cut from six to four each week.
At the same time, the company intends to supplement these with charter flights to Sharm El Sheikh on the Egyptian Red Sea coast and the Maldives. The domestic flight schedule remains unchanged.
“We appreciate and understand reasons for and efforts to suppress the spread of the virus.
“At the same time, travel, tourism and leisure industries are collectively a massive generator of global economic activity and jobs.
“It is vital that these industries are able to restart in a meaningful way at a point early in 2021, failing which the financial and social consequences will be extreme to both national economies and lives,” commented Peter Foster, Air Astana chief executive.
According to IATA studies, the aircraft cabin is the safest against coronavirus infection compared to other public places, and PCR tests and masks on board are effective methods to combat the spread of infection.
So, since the beginning of 2020, 44 cases of possible infection during transportation have been registered, despite the fact that during the same period 1.2 billion passengers were transported, this is an average of one case per 27 million passengers.
“We firmly believe, in line with IATA and the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, of which we are full members, that pre-departure Covid-19 testing for passengers intending to take international flights holds the key to a restart,” concluded Foster.