Kazakhstan and China's airlines are set to increase the number of flights following the introduction of a visa-free regime between the two countries, QazMonitor reports citing the press service of the Civil Aviation Committee.
Effective November 10, the visa-free agreement has prompted collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Kazakhstan and airlines to enhance flight frequencies. The move aims to meet the growing demand for air travel.
For the fall-winter season of 2023-2024, Air Astana has outlined plans to increase the number of flights on key routes:
Almaty – Beijing: from 6 to 7 flights per week;
Astana – Beijing: from 1 to 3 flights per week;
Almaty – Urumqi: from 2 to 7 flights per week.
Looking ahead, Air Astana aims to launch new routes to Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu in the coming year. Furthermore, the Chinese cargo airline, Air Logistics, plans to initiate regular cargo flights on the Almaty – Xi'an route starting from November.
Currently, 27 weekly passenger flights are operating between Kazakhstan and China, with 11 flights operated by Kazakh airlines and 16 by Chinese carriers. These flights connect major cities, including Almaty, Astana, Urumqi, Xi'an, Beijing, Hangzhou, and more.
Within the framework of existing agreements between the aviation authorities of Kazakhstan and China, designated airlines from both nations are authorized to operate up to 84 flights per week. Approved destinations for Kazakh carriers encompass Beijing, Urumqi, Shanghai, Sanya, Xi'an, Chengdu, and Haikou. Meanwhile, Chinese airlines are approved to operate in Astana, Almaty, Karaganda, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kyzylorda, Shymkent, and an additional city of their choice.
This strategic expansion in air travel aligns with the countries’ commitment to fostering stronger bilateral ties and promoting increased mobility between Kazakhstan and China.