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Lufthansa and Air Astana to enter a partnership

( 14.08.07
Lufthansa and Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana are planning a bilateral cooperation. A corresponding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today by representatives of both airlines. The objective of the partnership is to expand the flight offering for customers of both companies.

Peter Foster, President of Air Astana, and Götz Ahmelmann, Vice-President Alliances, Strategy and Subsidiaries of Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, signed the Memorandum of Under-standing in the Kazakhstan capital Astana this afternoon.

As of 2008, customers of both airlines can benefit from codeshare flights and mutually coordinated flight schedule as well as an extended offer of flights between Germany and Kazakhstan. In addition, Lufthansa passengers will enjoy better onward connections within Kazakhstan and Central Asia. For the passengers of Air Astana the cooperation intends to offer better connections to the worldwide Lufthansa network, in particular, to destinations within Europe, the USA and Canada.

Furthermore, the aim of this cooperation is to coordinate the frequent flyer programmes of both airlines, in order to facilitate the combined collection and redemption of miles. Miles & More members should already be able to collect miles on various Air Astana routes as of the end of October this year.

Lufthansa is the leading European airline in the Kazakhstan market with a daily flight to Almaty, the economic metropolis and former capital, twice weekly with an ongoing flight to Astana. Air Astana is the market leader in Kazakhstan and one of the fastest growing carriers in the CIS region.

Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country by landmass in the world and is characterized by its extensive natural resources and the high growth rate of its gross domestic product (2006: plus 10.6 percent). In total, around 400 German companies are represented in Kazakhstan.

About Air Astana

Air Astana was founded in 2001 and is owned by the Kazakhstan state (51%) and by BAE Systems (49%). Air Astana is run to international aviation standards, its management team consisting both of local managers trained to western standard, and foreign experts from some of the world's leading airlines. With a modern fleet (average age six years), consisting of Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Airbus A 320/321 and Fokker 50s, Air Astana is one of the most respected airlines within the former CIS states and with its hubs in Almaty and Astana offers a good supplement. Thanks to its reliability and operating efficiency, Air Astana enjoys an excellent reputation amongst its peers and the travelling public.

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