According to Director of Kazakhstan Tourist Association Rashida Shaikenova, the prices for charter flights of Kazakhstan airlines are $30 higher. The flights to Antalya, Turkey, were taken for calculations. “Tourist companies book planes for chartered flights for certain amounts that affect the prices of tickets that they sell to the tourists. Although the planes used by Kazakhstan airlines are older than those of foreign companies, Kazakhstan flights are a little more expensive,” Shaikenov said. However, she said, the price for charter flights are subject to competition and are a marketing element.
However, according to the Industry and Tourism Commission of Kazakhstan Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, not all of the local airlines are more expensive then foreign ones. Costs of charter flights depend on the city of departure: Almaty, Astana or Karaganda. Turkish Airlines charges $600 for Almaty-Antalya-Almaty flight, while the same ticket costs $550 of Kazakhstan’s Luk Aero makes the flight. The ticket for the same flight by Corendon costs $460, Atlas Jet makes the flight for $480, Pegasus makes it for $550 and Kazakhstan SCAT - for $500. The cost of the tickets from Astana to Antalya and back is about the same: $580 in Turkish Airlines, $450 in Corendon, $430 in Atlas Jet, $500 in SCAT and $550 in Luk Aero.
Karaganda-Antalya-Karaganda flights cost a little cheaper: $580 from Turkish Airlines, $470 from Atlas Jet, $530 from Pegasus versus $470 froim Kazakhstan's SCAT and $550 from Kazakhstan's Luk Aero.
Uralsk-Antalya-Uralsk flight is performed only by SCAT airline and the ticket costs $450.
Kazakhstan initially tried to introduce a ban on foreign charter flights from Kazakhstan starting from July 21. The regulation was called to give greater guarantees to passengers and ensure better control over flights safety, the Commission explained. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan Tourist Association asked the authorities to postpone introduction of the ban on foreign charter flights from Kazakhstan until November 1, 2013, since Kazakhstan tourist companies had signed contracts with foreign airlines for the summer season and Kazakhstan air carriers had yet to prepare for the new system and raise their capacities to meet the market's demand.
Representative of Luk Aero Okean Kim and head of Bek Air Nurlan Zhumasultanov declared that they were ready to perform the flights instead of the foreign companies. “Our company has a sufficient number of aircrafts to easily cover a certain region with flights to Turkey. We are welcoming these changes. The ban should have been introduced a long time ago. This is normal around the world,” Zhumasultanov said. According to him, around 300 thousand people plan to fly to Turkey during the summer season and 5-6 aircrafts are enough to meet the demand.
By Vladimir Prokopenko