Almaty airport wants to resolve dispute with Air Astana via Kazakhtsan government 01 января 2013, 15:34
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Aircraft treatment with deicing fluid. Photo courtesy of Air Astana press-service©
President of Almaty airport Aibol Bekmukhambetov believes that Air Astana flights have been delayed so frequently lately because of the insufficient number of deicing trucks that the company uses. He told Tengrinews.kz about the letter he was preparing for Kazakhstan government and Samruk-Kazyna to suggest that responsibility for deicing of aircrafts is transferred to airports.
“Everyone has to do this thing,” Bekmukhambetov said. “Air Astana has only three trucks for deicing aircrafts and its reserves of deicing fluid are low. Last year we (airport) bought 1 million liters of Russian-made fluid (1,000 tons) worth 1.5 million Euro. Almost a half of it is left this year. The airport has no problems with the fluid stock.”
According to him, Almaty airport has 9 special trucks for deicing aircrafts. All airlines, except Air Astana, use this service: KLM, Lufthansa, TransAero, Turkish Airlines and others, According to the airport’s president, Air Astana buys deicing fluid from German manufacturers. “Filling one truck takes at least an hour, plus their trucks break down sometimes. This is one of the main reasons behind the delays of Air Astana flights. We have already discussed this issue with the company’s president, but it has not been resolved so far,” Bekmukhambetov said. He believes that the problem affects the situation in the airport in general, and the passengers as well. The passengers are the ones who suffer from delays, he said.
Bekmukhambetov also showed a protocol of a meeting of top managements of Almaty airport and Air Astana, where Samruk-Kazyna decided to transfer the right to treat the company’s aircrafts with deicing fluid to the airport, provided that the cost of these services did not exceed the airline’s costs.
Ground service manager of Air Astana Aleksander Neboga said that the airport’s services will be several times more expensive. “Our aircrafts have been treated by our own professionals since 2007, when the airports could not provide such service in line with the international standards,” Neboga explained. “We have trained and keep training our own professionals based on all the international requirements. Besides, we are saving a huge money: several millions of dollars per year” but doing the treatment ourselves, he said.
According to Neboga, the company indeed has three deicing trucks. But if need arises the company uses the airport’s services. However, the issue of full transfer of the aircrafts deicing rights to airports has not been raised yet According to Neboga.
By Roza Yessenkulova