Kazakhstan Airlines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Air Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan Airlines
Founded 1992
Ceased operations 1996
Operating bases Almaty International Airport
Headquarters Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Airlines was an airline from Kazakhstan, serving as national flag carrier of the country from its independence in 1991 until 1996, when this role was transferred to Air Kazakhstan following the disaster of Flight 1907.


A Kazakhstan Airlines Ilyushin Il-76 at Düsseldorf International Airport (1994).
The Boeing 747SP of Kazakhstan Airlines approaching Frankfurt Airport (1994).

The Dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 also affected its state-owned airline, Aeroflot. The Kazakh division (which can be traced back to the mid-1920s) was transformed into Kazakhstan Airlines, with scheduled flights from its base at Almaty International Airport being launched in 1992. It inherited a fleet of the following aircraft types:[1]

In February 1994, a single Western built airliner was put into service: a Boeing 747SP, which had previously belonged to American Airlines.[2]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Kazakhstan Airlines was involved in the Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision, which occurred on 12 November 1996 and—with its 349 fatalities—marks one of the deadliest air disasters in history. Flight 1907, an Ilyushin Il-76, collided with a Boeing 747-100 of Saudi Arabian Airlines. Investigation into the accident revealed that the pilots of Flight 1907 had descended from their assigned altitude, which was attributed to poor training and non-sufficient English language skills. As a consequence, the government of Kazakhstan declared that Kazakhstan Airlines was bankrupt, transferring its assets to newly founded Air Kazakhstan.

There were another four accidents resulting in an aircraft of Kazakhstan Airlines being damaged beyond repair, none of which resulted in any reported fatalities:

A Kazakhstan Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 at Zurich Airport (1994).
  • On 16 January 1993, an Antonov An-24 (registered UN-46478) with nineteen passengers and four crew crash-landed at Kostanay Airport. During approach of the airport, the left wing engine failed. The pilots did not manage to properly align the aircraft with the runway and failed to execute a go-around, resulting in the plane hitting the ground 162 meters short of the runway threshold.[3]
  • On 21 January 1995, a Tupolev Tu-154 (registered UN-85455) overshot the runway during a take-off attempt at Karachi International Airport. There were 105 passengers and five crew members on board, and the aircraft had an overload of six tons.[4]
  • A few months later, on 13 April 1995, a Yakovlev Yak-40 (registered UN-88181) veered off the runway at Taraz Airport during a crosswind landing. The aircraft with 28 passengers and 3 crew on board struck a concrete barrier.[5]
  • Still in 1995, on 1 November, an Antonov An-24 (registered UN-47710) crash landed on a field 1100 meters short of the runway threshold of Shymkent Airport in a failed landing attempt. The aircraft had been on a training flight with four crew on board.[6]