Regional Manager, Kazakhstan & Central Asia, KLM
We closely monitor the movements of other airline companies and market developments and analyze the fares offered. We try to establish a balance between our competitors’ fares and our current price structure, and determine the best fit for our strategy. Our prices differ from the low to middle range or a little higher; it depends on the destination. Besides this, we strive for an operational fit, meaning our flight schedule should balance with market demand. The nature of Kazakhstani traffic is mostly business-related, and the average Kazakhstani travels to Turkey or Asia for tourism. With further developments in the tourism segment, Kazakhstan has large potential to attract foreign leisure travelers as well. I see huge progress in Kazakhstan, but there are obstacles to overcome, such as the development of Almaty International Airport. The current airport is not large enough and it is rapidly reaching its growth limits. The new terminal has been partly built, but construction needs to accelerate and catch up with the country’s development, rather than hamper its evolution. This means that more complete infrastructure should be in place. Infrastructure is very important for the country’s development and also for the airline industry, and I believe that the authorities should not hesitate in developing the airport and its surroundings further.
President & CEO, Prime Aviation
Prime Aviation is fully incorporated in Kazakhstan, where we operate on behalf of a number of high-net-worth (HNW) individuals and two charter aircraft that support the oil industry. On a secondary basis, we hold an operator certificate that supports our customers seeking air transport services out of Almaty or Kazakhstan. Part of our fleet is privately managed and geared toward a number of HNW individuals, and we perform aircraft maintenance on their behalf. We ensure that the crew and engineers are trained, the aircraft is serviceable, and that all the documentation is up to date. Our customers first choose the size of the aircraft desired, and then we begin our calculations. After the core costs are assessed, we ask where the customer wants to fly. For example, flying to Astana is much cheaper than to Moscow. This is because in Moscow everything takes place in business airports, and customers have limited choices. From there, we begin to assess other costs. Going to Astana accrues a smaller cost, whereas flying to Moscow is less affordable. We ask, and the customers tell us what they want; for food, we could serve a sandwich or caviar. Prime Aviation also offers a standard package with set costs. We also consider time a factor, and how long the customers will be away. The number of passengers is also up to the customer, who can choose between nine and 13 travelers on each aircraft.
CEO, ROBERT SOLLINGER
Eurocopter’s achievements over the last 20 years are remarkable: the company owns the largest market share worldwide in the civilian and para-public market, which is 43%. In addition, the company has the largest range of helicopters. Innovation is at the heart of Eurocopter’s culture, and 13 models were launched or completely modernized over the last 20 years. We are currently working on several very innovative products, such as the EC175, X3, and X4. These will mark a distinctive breakthrough in the helicopter industry. Eurocopter is also able to meet the challenges of very different customer groups and offer solutions suitable to their demands. Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering is an integrated part of the overall Eurocopter network, and can rely on the knowledge available in the main plants, subsidiaries, and participants. Meanwhile, it is becoming the Central Asian hub of the company. We will offer support for Kazakhstani EC145 customers and training for pilots and experts. We will also assemble the EC145 helicopters for Kazakhstan at our plant in Astana, with personnel from Kazakhstan. Our aim is to gradually increase the knowledge about this helicopter among our experts so that they can serve our customers as well as our German or French staff can. We have already begun training the first mechanical and aviation experts, and the company plans to achieve this goal through cooperation with its German staff.