Kazakhstan’s largest airline Air Astana has announced plans to have an Initial Public Offering (IPO) before the end of the year.
The airline announced of seeking a dual listing in both the Astana International Exchange (AIX) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The equity that will be sold to the public will be a mix of shares held by the airline’s current shareholders, BAE Systems (Kazakhstan) and Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund (the government-owned wealth fund of Kazakhstan) as well as newly issued shares.
Air Astana’s public listing is expected to be given the official green light at some point towards the end of January 2024. The company hopes to raise $120 million, which it will use to continue its international expansion.
Air Astana currently operates a fleet of 49 aircraft on 50 routes covering 34 destinations. The Kazakh carrier, which carried 4.4 million passengers in the 12 months to September 30, 2023, plans to expand its fleet to 80 aircraft by 2028. It also owns 100% of FlyArystan, the country’s largest low-cost airline, which has also been expanding and currently controls 38% of the domestic market in Kazakhstan.
Air Astana aims to make Kazakhstan a transit point connecting Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The airline is investing in a new Airbus A321XLR narrowbody aircraft which will give it the flexibility to operate short, medium and long-haul routes. Air Astana also confirmed in 2022 thatit will be leasing three Boeing 787 widebody aircraft.