Dumb Cubed

by Nathan Hamm on 3/2/2005

So freakin’ dumb it bears mentioning a third time. IWPR reports on the requirement that foreign carriers fly to Astana rather than directly to Almaty. The tourist association is pointing out something pretty obvious–something I said I’d rather do than fly through Astana. Foreign carriers will just go to Tashkent or Bishkek:

The association worries that airlines currently flying to Kazakstan will simply take their business to neighbouring Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan. Both Tashkent and Bishkek are closer to Almaty than Astana is, and offer cheaper airport services. Planes transiting Astana have to pay 8,000 US dollars for services, while in Tashkent the transit fee is just 3,000 dollars.

The cost of routing planes through the new capital and then on to Almaty, thousands of kms away, would double the current price of a ticket to Kazakstan, the association claims, and could ultimately cost the country 90 million dollars a year.

Members of Kazakstan’s business community are also concerned about the impending change. They say the stop in Astana would greatly increase the cost of shipping goods by air, and warn that this could put many smaller firms out of business.

Much more, including whispers from the foreign carriers, at the link.

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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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