Air Astana has signed a codeshare partnership agreement with Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL), with the two airlines operating joint flights on the Baku-Almaty-Baku route five times a week.

Air Astana confirms that it flies between its Almaty hub and Baku three times a week, while Azerbaijani flag carrier AZAL operates the route twice a week.

Both airlines fly Airbus A320s between the cities, including with business class service.

Air Astana highlights that this latest codeshare agreement provides its passengers with more flexibility, convenience and choice of flights in the Central Asia region.

Both airlines’ flights may now be combined under one ticket, the Kazakh carrier says.

In addition to AZAL, Air Astana currently has codeshare agreements with Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.

The aviation industry in Central Asia is booming.

Air Astana has been growing for years, providing important economic and tourism development to Kazakhstan.

Airlines in neighbouring countries were much slower to expand, although they are quickly catching up now, not least because of sanctions against Russian aviation players.

Air Astana Group, which also includes low- cost FlyArystan, currently serves more than 90 destinations in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, China, Germany, Greece, India, Korea, Montenegro, Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, UAE and the United Kingdom, with a fast-growing fleet of currently 44 modern Airbus, Boeing and Embraer aircraft.

Soon, the Kazakh carrier will add its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Meanwhile, AZAL currently operates under 20 aircraft, but it recently embarked on a fleet and network expansion that will see it add additional Boeing 787 Dreamliners and new-technology Airbus A320 neo and larger A321 neo aircraft over the coming years.

It is a similar story at Uzbekistan Airways in Tashkent. The Uzbek flag carrier is also upgrading and growing its fleet with modern Airbus jets for its short- and medium-haul flights, and adding more 787-8s for its long-haul network.