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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kazakhstan to Buy Western Planes

ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Kazakhstan’s national airline plans to replace all its Soviet-made aircraft with Western models by the middle of 2002, the airline’s director said Friday.

The swap will be made possible by projected increased income from ticket sales in coming years, said Kazakhstan Air director Alexander Krinichansky, according to Interfax.

The announcement followed the airline’s sale of 50 percent of its stock to Kazakhstan’s Kazkomertsbank earlier this month. The airline now operates a fleet of 27 Soviet-model aircraft and three European-made Airbus jets, said bank managing director Aidar Akhmetov.

Akhmetov confirmed the airline planned to buy Western planes and said they are considering jets from Seattle-based Boeing.

The aging planes have on average expended 90 percent of their lifespan and must be replaced, he said.

It was unclear how the airline would bring ticket sales high enough to afford new planes.