10 Best Airlines in Central Asia & CIS 2023

If you need to know the best airlines in Central Asia, Skytrax has named Air Astana as the best airline in Central Asia. It was not only Air Astana that was ranked but there are also a couple of other airlines that were ranked alongside, read on to know more about each airline ranked in this year’s award.

10 Best Airlines in Central Asia & CIS 2023

1. Air Astana Airlines

There is a major airline company called Air Astana that has its headquarters in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Its primary hub is Almaty International Airport, with Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport serving as a subsidiary hub, and together they serve 64 domestic and international destinations.

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2. Azerbaijan Airlines

The national airline of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL), also the country’s major airline. The airline has its home base just next to Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport, and it serves locations all throughout Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Europe, and the United States.

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3. Buta Airways

Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport is Buta Airways’ main hub of operations as an Azerbaijani low-cost virtual airline. Affiliated with Azerbaijan Airlines, it is 100% owned by the parent company.

4. Uzbekistan Airways

Uzbekistan’s national airline, JSC Uzbekistan Airways, operates out of the capital city of Tashkent under the brand name Uzbekistan Airways.

5. FlyArystan Airlines

Almaty, Kazakhstan is home to the low-cost airline FlyArystan. It is the discount arm of the country’s primary airline, Air Astana. On 2 November 2018, FlyArystan was established with the blessing of President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and the approval of Air Astana’s joint partners, Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund and BAE Systems PLC. The airline with the Lowest Fares in Eurasia is the company’s tagline.

6. Qazaq Air

Qazaq Air, or Qazaq Eir in Kazakh, is a domestic Kazakh airline that operates out of its main hub in Nur-Sultan.

Founded by the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund JSC at the behest of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, QAZAQ AIR’s mission is to ensure the security and accessibility of regional air travel in Kazakhstan and the border regions of neighboring states in accordance with the highest international and Kazakh flight safety standards.

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The primary objective is to improve communication between different parts of the Republic of Kazakhstan in order to stimulate economic growth there.

After Air Kazakhstan declared bankruptcy in 2004, the government of Kazakhstan relaunched the airline in 2015 under the same name, Qazaq Air, but with a few minor changes. In keeping with the ongoing process by which the Kazakh alphabet is being converted from Cyrillic to Latin script. It has been relaunched as a regional carrier.

IATA (International Air Transport Association) affiliate. Since 2018, we’ve been approved as meeting the IOSA’s global requirements for industrial safety.

7. Air Moldova Airlines

The Moldovan Independent Squadron was founded on September 19, 1944, and it was on that date that the first unit of Po-2 transport aircraft arrived in Chişinău, marking the beginning of Air Moldova.

There were two Li-2 aircraft, utilized for trips to Moscow, several Ukrainian cities, and the Black Sea and Caucasus vacation destinations, in addition to the fifteen Po-2 biplanes used for internal flights and the agricultural function.

Significant progress was made in the 1960s toward establishing a sustainable domestic airline business in Moldova. Chişinău now has a modern airport that can handle gas turbine planes thanks to its opening in the early 2010s.

In 1965, the company was elevated to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and the fleet was bolstered with new Antonov An-10, An-12, and An-24 aircraft. Several towns in the Soviet Union are now served by regularly scheduled flights, and routes for transporting the fruits and vegetables cultivated in Moldova have been constructed to the major industrial hubs of the Soviet Union.

It wasn’t until the early 1970s that jet aircraft began using Moldova’s primary air corridors. In 1971, the first of what would eventually be 26 Tupolev Tu-134 twin-jet airliners entered service in Moldova. Chişinău was even home to an international flight testing facility for such planes.

The Yakovlev Yak-42 tri-jet regional aircraft and the Antonov An-26 turboprop cargo aircraft both joined the fleet in 1972 and 1974, respectively. Over the course of the decade, both the network of roads and the volume of traffic increased steadily.

A fleet of ten Tupolev Tu-154 tri-jet airliners was delivered to Moldovan operations in the middle of the 1980s, marking a significant milestone in the country’s aviation history. Over a million people each year were transported on Moldovan airlines, which traveled to 73 different locations across the Soviet Union. Chişinău and Frankfurt became connected for the first time by an international flight in 1990.

8. SCAT Airlines

Shymkent International Airport in Shymkent, Kazakhstan is home to the main office of SCAT Airlines, also known as PLL SCAT Air Company. It serves the entirety of Kazakhstan’s major urban areas as well as those of its neighbors.

9. Turkmenistan Airlines

Located in the capital city of Ashgabat, Türkmenistan Airlines (or simply Türkmenhowaollary) is the national airline of Turkmenistan. Its major hub is Ashgabat International Airport, where it offers internal and international passenger and cargo services.

Turkmenistan Airlines began operations on May 4, 1992, and is wholly controlled by the government. When Turkmenistan Airlines bought a Boeing 737-300 in 1992, it was the first airline in the CIS to do so.

ICAO officially welcomed Turkmenistan as a full member in April 1993. (ICAO). On April 19, 1993, an IL-76 freight plane took off for the first time from Ashgabat bound for Brest, Belarus.

The airline began replacing its fleet of Soviet-era aircraft with newer Boeing 717s in 2001 and continued doing so until they were all retired in 2010. After seeing the first one at the MAKS air show in 2001, buyers quickly decided to buy the rest of the 717 series.

Turkmenistan Airlines confirmed a $192 million purchase for three additional Boeing 737-700s on September 2, 2009, after seeing a demonstration of the plane on April 29 in Ashgabat.

Three additional Boeing 777s joined the autumn airline fleet. The Lachyn Hotel, a transit hotel in Ashgabat, was opened by the airline in May 2009. It is situated on Bitarap Türkmenistan şaoly, a major thoroughfare that links the heart of Ashgabat with the airport.

Since July 1, 2011, when the airline first used the technology, all flights have used electronic tickets. Flights can be booked in the usual way, but airlines have started providing information to passengers in the form of an itinerary receipt.

An airplane modeled like the Boeing 737-800 was delivered on May 8th, 2013. Both a fourth and a fifth Boeing 737-800 were delivered in 2013: on June 3 and December 18, respectively.

A full-color magazine called Lachyn has been published by the airline since 2012. (“Falcon”). In Turkmenistan, this was the very first item of its kind. The Turkmenistan airports’ VIP lounges and reception areas also stock the publication.

Also in that year, the airline transported 57,500 passengers to 15 overseas locations and around 90,000 passengers on internal routes each and every month (c. 1.77 million passengers per year).

Shipping goods to Brno on a regular basis started in January 2013. A brand-new ticketing facility, located at 61 Atatürk Street, opened its doors to the public in March of 2013. Seventeen domestic and thirteen overseas sales offices are located in this building.

The first scheduled passenger trip to Lviv took off in August 2013. Flights to Donetsk and Riga took off in October of that year, and regular service to Paris, France, was launched in December.

Turkmenistan Airlines announced in March 2014 that it would begin long-haul service with its Boeing 777-200LRs. At present, the planes are used for flights to Bangkok, Beijing, Birmingham, Delhi, and Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines’ EU flying privileges were revoked on February 4 by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As a result, service to the United Kingdom, France, and Germany was discontinued by the airline. After an absence of ten months, Turkmenistan Airlines finally flew regular passenger service to countries in the European Union in December.

Because to the COVID-19 epidemic, in March 2020 Turkmenistan Airlines canceled all of its regularly scheduled foreign passenger flights.

All international flights into Turkmenistan are being rerouted to Turkmenabat International Airport or Turkmenbashi International Airport to stop the import and spread of the coronavirus.

Turkmenistan Airlines has been using the Piece Concept luggage system since March 2021.


Chişinău, Moldova is home to FlyOne, a low-cost airline that is privately owned and operated. Its doors first opened for business in 2016, however, its inception was in 2015. Chişinău International Airport is its home base, where it offers both regular and chartered flights.


Here is the concluding part of the best airlines in Central Asia and CIS. If there is additional information we need to know, you may drop your comments via the comment section down below.