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Air Astana

Old 29th Dec 2007, 01:38
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Kazakhstan Contamination

Aksai Oiler,

Thanks a million for your input. It gives me a little peace of mind. Any other tips to make my stay more enjoyable? What do you mean about the Hyatt stay? I was offered the living accomodations in that hotel. Is it any good? Thanks again.
AlexSantisteban is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2007, 14:50
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Israel, Kazakhstan, Spain
Posts: 292
The Hyatt is fine, not to worry - food is good, if not a little too expensive & there is a good gym & pool.

Tinkhoff is within walking distance - a micro brewery (opposite the Kazakh National University) with it's metre long sausage; & there are other good restaurants around (Indian, Chinese & Uzbek) - suggest you try to get hold of a book called "Hedonists guide to Almaty & Astana" ISBN 978-1-905428-21-2. I met Lucy Kelaart (author) several times in Almaty and she has produced a good reference guide - can't say much about the Astana building site.

After discussing with the Missus, she seems to think you mean the FO you were speaking to was referring to Aktau and not Atyrau. Aktau was a closed city during Soviet times and had a Uranium mine about 50 km to the NE (which you can clearly see on approach into Aktau airport). However there is no radiation threat in Aktau city for you either.

Have fun, I won't be heading back until February - best time of year - nice and cold only -27C in Aktobe yesterday.

Poka
Aksai Oiler is offline  
Old 5th May 2008, 10:18
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Where The Sun Don't Shine!
Posts: 6
Any information on latest happenings here? Word is that the company is losing money and is currently shedding staff and pilot recruitment has stopped. Engineering VP was fired last week and three managers have left (two fired, one jumped ship) in the last few weeks. Rumour is more to come.
Airbus Rider is offline  
Old 5th May 2008, 11:38
  #64 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: malaysia
Posts: 404
Kul-lhr-kul

Heard that Air Astana is starting a service from Kuala Lumpur-BKK-Astana-LHR this year. Any idea when and what would would be the flight time to LHR with all its technical stops? replies appreciated
veloo maniam is offline  
Old 8th May 2008, 09:25
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Outer Space
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Air Astana has replaced its VP Maintenance with a highly competent guy who is already at the company and who incidentally should be well known within these pages! VP FO has resigned for personal reasons with full honours, his replacement is ex Delta. New FS Manager is ex QR and S African AF. Company doing well and still expanding though at a lower rate than at last year’s (manic) pace. The heart of Eurasia is beating strongly!
By the way 3 more A320 family aircraft this summer, and ink fresh on long term Airbus purchase deal.
slingsby is offline  
Old 9th May 2008, 15:16
  #66 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Where The Sun Don't Shine!
Posts: 6
Thanks Slingsby. So are the stories about losing money untrue? And is the company recruiting pilots for the new aircraft? Don't want to risk another early bath!
Airbus Rider is offline  
Old 12th May 2008, 10:43
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
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Yes, the money losses are untrue.
No early bath or tea and biscuits in the ops office.
The Airbus are destined for TSE based ops, as are a number of pilots. We are going to base them there as well as having some based at GUW, for European airbus ops.
The B757 fleet is going to undergo some major mods this year, with winglets being one plan, we are looking for two more B757 this year as well as more B767 to expand the fleet.
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Old 15th May 2008, 03:12
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Almaty
Posts: 211
Congratulations on your recent promotion Slingsby, hope you do better than the last guy. But your talk of fleet plans is a little off I believe. Like your previous mention of A330s! In fact the B757 winglet mod will be in 2009 if approved, to coincide with the next maintenance C checks. You should know that! And the company has been OFFERED more 757s on very favourable terms, it is not looking for more. Of course if the money and business is there it would be crazy not to snap them up. But at present consolidation is the name of the game, expansion plans are on hold. B767 plans are for one aircraft in 2009 and another in 2010, but this is dependent on what is available at the time.
The Airbus fleet disposition has changed recently and the GUW base has been put off until next year at the earliest. Plans were to base an A319 and extra A320 at TSE this summer but now only one will go there, the other remaining in ALA. This is because upgrading of F50 routes from TSE has been deferred due to concerns on load factors.
Meanwhile the airline has recently been evaluating CRJ700, EMB170 and Q400 types as Fokker 50 replacements and for expansion into surrounding CIS countries. These would be for 2010 delivery onwards and the favourite so far is the CRJ700.
So once the current management and financial problems are behind them Air Astana should indeed be expanding.
Harrier46 is offline  
Old 15th May 2008, 10:32
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: UK
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Winglets have been approved - all mods will be completed during next C check, along with the "new logo".... I've seen the new logo and it looks cool.
The airbus moves Slingsby mentioned are now deferred for a while until the loads pick-up. The GUW basing of the A320 and A319 is still planned for later this year though. P4WAS just completed its flight checks and is due for delivery either end of next week or sooner...
I don't know what the favourite is for the F50 replacement, not my fleet. The F50 FOs I spoke to who recently converted up to B757 seem to favour the CRJ too, one even spoke about converting back to the regional fleet..!!
I think the A330 rumour is just that, someone from the airbus fleet thinking grandious thoughts......
I don't see any financial or management problems within KC. Pilots being recruited, pilots being trained, new CBT package for ICAO language course purchased and the teaching staff contracts extended.
udachi moya is offline  
Old 22nd May 2008, 14:26
  #70 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 58
  1. Air Astana made a loss in January and February of $3.5m for the two months combined because of fuel prices and the low season.
  2. It made a $0.15m profit in March.
  3. It made a $2.9m profit in April.
  4. May-October advance loads and projections indicate a profit for all of the next 6 months, and a profit for the year.
  5. It took delivery of its 19th leased aircraft (a new A320) on 20 May, and will take delivery of its 20th and 21st in June and August (both new A320s).
  6. It will shortly confirm a purchase order for 6 A320s and 3 options.
  7. The VPs Engineering and Flight Ops have been replaced by experienced expat managers who both have more than 2 years’ experience with the airline
  8. The company has just successfully completed its IOSA audit, and a corporate governance review by Standard and Poor. The Company President has just had his employment contract renewed and extended by the Board. The company was explicitly praised for its efficiency and service levels by the country’s Head of State at the annual government review meeting held in Astana on 14 February.
So if pilot recruiment cancelled, why the continued expansion of the fleet. I think you have an axe to grind Harrier46, we you the flight ops manager duly removed from his position ?
udachi moya is offline  
Old 4th Jun 2008, 04:36
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Almaty
Posts: 211
Interesting to see you have such insight into the company finances! Which fleet are you on? Normally only the top management have access to these figures
And interesting to see your reference to the Flight Ops Manager. In fact from 6th June he will be promoted to VP Flight Ops, so no that is not me!
Harrier46 is offline  
Old 7th Jun 2008, 14:18
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Asia
Posts: 183
Aksai Oiler,

We had the same thing for 12 years: dosimeters. Out of 5,000 of us, not one pilot was ever told he had a high reading. So one of our good union captains put his in the microwave for for about twenty minutes and then mailed it in.

He got a call a few days later.

Captain Jones?
Yes?
This is John Bixsley from the radiation badge monitering department.
Yes?
I'm calling to ask you about your last film badge..... uh.... you put it in the microwave didn't you?

No.

Then you put it on top of the T.V. didn't you?

No. Why? Is something wrong?

No. No. Nothing's wrong. Wrong badge....bye... Thanks. (dial tone.)

Last edited by pacplyer; 7th Jun 2008 at 14:33.
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 18:54
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Israel, Kazakhstan, Spain
Posts: 292
pacplyer

Nice Story - to be honest, I used to have to fly with mine and it always went through the Scanner without much serious effect.

However, I remember once in the dim and distant past all of our nuclear source detection alarms went of in Aksai - we all panicked wondering what the hell had happened, as all the sources were stored in a secure bunker 1/2 a mile away (and we were 30km from the Lira nuclear site). After some time and several phone calls to Aberdeen/Houston (beam me up Scottie) we deduced (rightly or wrongly) that it was a severe solar storm which had set off the alarms - so I would suggest if you are nearer to the sun than me you may have a risk of a big dose (sic.) one day.

Oiler

Oiler
Aksai Oiler is offline  
Old 10th Jun 2008, 07:15
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Asia
Posts: 183
Interesting Oiler.

I didn't realize Solar flares would show up on personnel rad sensors but it makes sense. It sure showed up on HF! The Northern Lights were spectacular to fly near but I suppose we were getting nuked there without realizing it. Also polar flights and layovers in New Zealand were believed by scientists to be in the ozone hole. Since they told us that, the sun sure felt different down/up there! (really, it did.) And SC rates are really high there and Australia...

According to Scientific American, the atmosphere at sea level is equivalent in protection to thirteen feet of concrete, IIRC, and if you cross the U.S. at FL410 you get the same radiation exposure as a medical chest x-ray (day or night.)

That's a lot of x-rays flying in the thirties for twenty years. Pilots are worth every penny imho. ALPA participated in a study in the past were crew skin cancer rates were examined. It revealed a high incidence of captains with melanoma (sp?) on the left fore arm and a high incidence of F/O's with it on the right forearm.

Combination of background radiation and sun light? Or does plexiglass laminate just make a lousy shield? It's the little invisible stuff like that, which can ruin your whole retirement. Moral of the Story: bring sun block to slather up the window arm, but don't smear any of it on the yoke dammit! (Leaves a boobie trap for the next guy.)
Have fun in the "Stans" guys!

pac - out

Last edited by pacplyer; 10th Jun 2008 at 07:26.
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Old 12th Jun 2008, 09:34
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 58
Sorry H46, just got back from back2back HAJ and BKK runs, sun-burn legs not very comfortable at the moment. Going up to Medeo for some cooler air.
udachi moya is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2008, 11:36
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Age: 44
Posts: 73
Question Is Astana still Recruiting?

So is Air Astana, stop recruiting or even reducing expat pilots? The country and the airline seem to be in very good shape and they seem to have very solid network with good prices and service.
May be a futher stimulation of the tourism services could bust airline bussines in the country, Kazakhstan is one of the must beautiful countries for outdoors activities.They are also planning to have a 63 acft fleet by 2022 , that´s about 3 acft per year, +/- 4 crews per year.
My friend just passed their screening and simulator but they stop the recruitment process and he´s now STBY. I was thinking of applying to join them as a Captain, so does anyone have any inside info or rumours about their crew needs for next year?

Cheers and flysafe
ICE
ICEMAN757200 is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2008, 23:48
  #77 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Age: 44
Posts: 73
Question Air Astana B767 Crews

Anyone? Well I´m talking mainly about the B767/B757, so if anybody have some info I would be really thankfull.


Best Regards,

ICEMAN
ICEMAN757200 is offline  
Old 18th Nov 2008, 04:25
  #78 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Behind You
Posts: 124
That's a great deal of help to Iceman !!!
THRidle is offline  
Old 18th Nov 2008, 08:50
  #79 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Age: 44
Posts: 73
Talking

Well the litle I was able to read between lines sounds positive.
Maybe he was using a chinese or russian keyboard
ICEMAN757200 is offline  
Old 3rd Dec 2008, 21:17
  #80 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Vic, Australia
Posts: 19
What is the current recruitment state with Air Astana, for the B757/767 Capt positions?

Anyone care to share some info or to PM myself, would much appreciate it.

Ive been trying to call them direct but the call always seems to be stuch on hold awaiting for the operator, and then hangs up?

Is there a contact No. for VPO, Cpt.Tom N, or an email address. If anyone who is employed by Air Astana who would care to share or assist, would be greatful once again.
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