ASTANA, Kazakhstan – Air Astana Holidays, a division of Kazakhstan’s award winning flag carrier, Air Astana, has launched a new Astana & Almaty Stopover Holiday program designed to attract increased numbers of international visitors to Kazakhstan, as well as more transit passengers breaking their journeys in Astana and Almaty, before flying on to other Air Astana destinations.
The Astana & Almaty Stopover Holiday program will provide visitors with hotel accommodation including breakfast at a choice of hotels, arrival and departure airport transfers by private car and optional half day sightseeing tours in the two cities. The program launches with three participating properties in Astana; the King Hotel Astana, Grand Park Esil Hotel and Ramada Plaza Astana Hotel; and five properties in Almaty; the Rixos Almaty Hotel, the Rahat Palace, the Royal Tulip, the Grand Tien-Shan and the Iris Hotel. The flexible program is designed so that visitors can build on a basic package of one night and simply add additional nights depending on the intended length of their stay.
Available every day, and with market leading pricing, this building block approach means that passengers arriving on any Air Astana flight at Astana or Almaty international airports can take advantage of the program. Prices start from US$125 per person for the first night and US$75 for additional nights (twin/double share accommodation). The half day city tours, designed to provide an insightful city orientation, have guaranteed daily departures irrespective of the number of visitors booked for that day. City tours in Almaty and Astana cost US$85 per adult and US$45 per child.
In association with leading international destination marketing company, My Destination, visitors using the Astana & Almaty Stopover Holiday will also be entitled to use a range of privileges at leading food and beverage outlets in Astana and Almaty. A special booklet that accompanies the program contains details on the special offers and discounts available at attractions, restaurants, bars and night clubs. Every arriving visitor will also receive a free local Active sim card under the Welcome-15 Plan, already charged with 15 free international sms credits.
The program is distributed broadly across Air Astana’s existing sales channels. Visitors will be able to book the program at Air Astana’s ticket offices overseas as well as at one of over 35,000 Air Astana appointed IATA and ARC agents worldwide. Visitors will also be able to book directly by filling a simple booking form online at www.airastana.com.
“We are delighted to be able to position Kazakhstan at cross road of international aviation. Precedent has shown that those airlines that have provided such a program to their overseas markets significantly stimulate international passenger arrivals and underpin tourist development in the country. We can look forward to passengers travelling from London to Hong Kong, or from Delhi to Moscow for example, choosing to route via Kazakhstan and spend their tourist dollar in the country. This is good for the industry and good for the economy of the country” said Richard Ledger, Director Sales Worldwide – Air Astana.
Prices and content within the program are guaranteed until 31 December 2014. Plans for later in the year include the publication of subsequent editions of the program to include a wider range of hotels and tours, additional print languages, as well as seasonal and special interest content like winter sports at the resorts around Almaty.
Air Astana commenced regular flight operations on 15 May 2002 and currently operates a network of almost 60 international and domestic routes from hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. Air Astana operated an all-western fleet of two Boeing 767-300ER, five Boeing 757-200, thirteen Airbus A320 family aircraft and seven Embraer E90. Air Astana became the first carrier from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Eastern Europe to be awarded the prestigious 4-Star rating by Skytrax in its World Airline Awards 2012 and was named The Best Airline in Central Asia and India. Both accolades were repeated in 2013.
Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s national wealth fund Samruk Kazyna and BAE Systems, with respective shares of 51% and 49%.