Kazakhstan Internal Flights Cancelled & Impossible to buy replacements. Ideas?

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  • RobertBLondon

    I had booked an Air Astana return from Nur Sultan [TSE] to Kostanay [KSN] & then received texts cancelling saying they would no longer fly that route. Now no replacement flights are coming up on any of the aggregators. Can anyone suggest why before there was plenty of choice & now suddenly nothing? Who should I book?

    I tried what they suggested but the site does not show any options either. Text was:
    “Flight KC336 Kostanay-Nur-Sultan at 11:15 19.10.19 has been cancelled. Due to flight cancellation we can offer a full refund. Please contact your ticketing office or Air Astana for further information. Flights Kostanay-Nur-Sultan-Kostanay in future will be operated by FlyArystan, ticketing available at http://www.flyarystan.com

    I also tried Scat Air & there are some flights but not on the days I previously had & their website is flaky to say the least. Any good ideas from anyone?


    …The lack of flights maybe due to delays of the re-construction work that was scheduled earlier this year – if it has re-opened – then flying via Almaty is probably your best bet…

    Luc Jones

    Welcome to the world of flying in Central Asia, Robert – I can sympathise; a couple of months’ ago I arrived at Almaty airport only to be told that my flight on Qazaq Air to Bishkek had been cancelled. The next flight was 24 hours later (no good to me), so my only other option was to take a cab.

    Despite the huge expanses between cities (Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world), drivers are generally happy to go long distances – time isn’t exactly money out here. The key is to allow plenty of wiggle room although when flights actually do take off, they’re on the whole pretty punctual.

    Regarding prices – the better your Russian, the lower the fare !!


    Almaty-Bishkek can be done by comfortable, reserved seat a/c bus from the Sayarn Bus terminal.

    5 per day, about 5 hours, about €11.

    Luc Jones

    I’ve taken that bus before, although in this case I didn’t have the luxury of time; I arrived at Almaty airport at 11pm for a flight shortly after midnight; needed to be at my hotel in Bishkek for an 8am start the following morning – hence a taxi was the only solution.

    Fortunately it all worked out OK (if you call ‘arriving into Bishkek at 3:30am ‘OK’) but I haven’t booked with Qazak Air since !!


    @RobertBLondon — Sympathies – ‘marvelous’ country Kazakhstan! – Used to regularly fly Scat Air Almaty-Chymkent in An-24 turboprops and also Air Astana F-50’s.
    Also had the pleasure a few times of flying in Il-76 chartered cargo flights (in the nose cone with the monkeys) direct into Chymkent, and on one occassion. landing on the grass adjacent, as the asphalt runway was being resurfaced at the time. Also departed in an An-24 to Almaty once from the grass too.

    @ Jones Fully agree. Welcome to Kazakhstan and Central Asia in general. One must get used to expecting the unexpected.

    I do not know the intricacies of getting to Bishkek, but would agree on the use of taxis. On many occasions I used taxis from Cocseray in the Southern Kazakhstan desert through Chymkent and onto the border just outside Tashkent in Uzbekistan (no vehicle crossing – by foot only) a journey of more than 350kms and it cost nothing hardly – almost seemed like just the petrol.
    Getting through the border Khazak out/Uzbek in, on foot, during Ramadan, now there’s an experience !!!

    Like I said above – a ‘Marvelous’ country – maddening adventures/experiences every day – just as contributors here have described. And do remember all of you visitors, as you might have seen the signs everywhere in English and Cyrillic script, the numbers 2030 – that my friends is the year Kazakhstan expects to join the EU !!! The late President Nazerbayev has promised it.
    So be warned.

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