Air Astana Review: Sleeper Economy

Air Astana’s Economy Sleeper class is unique in the airline world; it is neither standard economy nor full-scale business class. It’s Economy… with legroom!

 

Air Astana, the national airline of the Republic of Kazakhstan (which is due to list its IPO in 2017 jointly between Kazakhstan and either London, Hong Kong, or Singapore) offers a choice between EconomyEconomy Sleeper, and Business Class on its route between London and Astana. Regardless of class chosen, the cabin crew are friendly and always smiling even at the most frustrating of customers.

On a flight from London Heathrow to Astana International, on a single aisle Boeing 757 aircraft, the benefits of Economy Sleeper really are worth the extra cost over standard Economy. Customers are guaranteed three seats to themselves, so there is plenty of room to stretch out your long legs, wriggle around as much as you like, and even watch three different TV programmes if they so wish.

The Sleeper section of the cabin is curtained off from both standard economy and business, with one dedicated air hostess for the “Sleepers”. Drinks are constantly offered by the smiling hostess, and the meals are served on glass and china plates with a focus on the little details; intricately shaped butter pots, wrapped toothpicks, and cutlery rolled neatly in the middle of your napkin.Uniquely in the Economy Sleeper class you can pull up the armrests, roll out a comfortable cushioned mattress, lay down a pillow and you have a fully flat bed. Who needs business class when you have three economy seats all to yourself?

Background of Air Astana

Air Astana’s Sleeper Economy is a step above the ordinary! Not only are you treated like a Business Class passenger and tended to as if you were on your own private jet, you also get more leg room than you could wish for.

The Kazakh national airline is 49% owned by UK-based BAE Systems and 51% by the Kazakh national welfare fund “Samruk-Kazyna”. The airline was incorporated in 2001 and has been voted Best Airline Central Asia and India by Skytrax five times in its short history – thanks in part to its respected President-CEO Peter Foster OBE.

Air Astana is preparing to list its Initial Public Offering (IPO) around mid-2017 jointly between the Kazakh stock exchange and either London, Hong Kong, or Singapore. Will BAE sell its long-held shares in the airline when it is listed? Or will it hold onto them and boost their shareholders’ annual dividends? Only time will tell – but whatever choice they make, BAE shareholders could be set for a financial windfall, and the airline an influx of money to spend on creating new routes and buying new aircraft.

Flights from London Heathrow to Astana in Economy Sleeper with Air Astana start from £803 one way: http://airastana.com/global/en-us/Plan/Book-Flights

All reviews remain my own opinion, but I would like to thank Alison Chambers of Emerald Media and the friendly Air Astana marketing team for providing me with press flights throughout my visit to Kazakhstan.
Feature image taken from Air Astana’s website: https://airastana.com/global/Experience-Air-Astana/Onboard/Economy-SleeperFacebook
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