Have Any Airlines Suspended Flights To Kazakhstan?

With Kazakhstan under a state of emergency amid deadly protests over fuel prices, the country’s commercial air connectivity has also taken a hit. So far, one airline has confirmed the suspension of flights with others keeping a close eye on the developing situation. This follows days of unrest in the country, with news of public buildings being torched and one airport reportedly being seized.

Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways has announced the suspension of flights to Kazakhstan amid protests in the country. Photo: Cjp24 via Wikimedia Commons

Jazeera Airways suspends flights

Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways has been the first to announce a suspension of flights to Kazakhstan. The carrier connects Kuwait City with Almaty, its only destination in the country. Reuters cites an email from the airline spokesperson who said that the carrier will provide an update on its operations to Kazakhstan once there is more information.

At the time of publishing this article, no other airline came forward with any firm announcement of flight suspension to Kazakhstan. Almaty International Airport – Kazakhstan’s biggest and busiest airport – is served by many international airlines that are said to be looking at the events closely.

Low-cost carrier flydubai, which flies to both Almaty and Nur-Sultan, had to cancel its Almaty flight on Wednesday and is following the events in the country. Some other major carriers have decided to continue flights to the country, but a lot rides on the developing situation on the ground in Kazakhstan.

Lufthansa A319 getty
The Italian government is hoping Lufthansa will invest in the new airline and help turn it around. Photo: Getty Images

Both Lufthansa and Qatar Airways operate regular flights to the Central Asian country and plan to continue the services for the time being; both are said to be monitoring the events there. Russia’s Aeroflot also intends to continue its daily flight to Almaty and Nur-Sultan as of now. Russian News Agency TASS quoted a source from the aviation industry as saying,

Aeroflot has not canceled anything. The airports of Almaty and Nur-Sultan are operating as usual.”

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Almaty Airport

Protests in Kazakhstan, which started in other towns at the start of this week, reached Almaty a couple of days later. Soon, reports began emerging of a possible takeover of Almaty airport by anti-social elements, which was confirmed by the country’s president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who was quoted to be saying,

“Terrorist gangs are seizing large infrastructure facilities, in particular in the Almaty airport, five planes, including foreign planes.”

TASS reports that a special operation was carried out at the airport to restore peace and operations, which saw two servicemen lose their lives. Tokayev has asked for help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, to bring the situation under control.

The unrest in the country, and particularly at Almaty, has led to several flights being diverted to other airports in the region. Aviation experts and enthusiasts were quick to notice this and updated the situation on social media platforms.

While most airlines have decided to continue flights to Kazakhstan, a lot depends on how the situation is managed in the coming few days. So far, most carriers deem the conditions to be stable enough to fly into Kazakhstan, but the next few days will be crucial in giving us a clearer picture.

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