Fly Arystan Experience: Delhi Almaty

Fly Arystan is the 4th new airline I flew this year after Kuwait Air, Air Malta and Aegean airlines.

Fly Arystan is an ultra low cost airline in central Asia. Fly Arystan is a subsidiary of Air Asthana. I came to know about Fly Arystan in 2023 when they were offering Delhi-Shymkent (CIT) for 5000 INR one way. But return was costing lot more so I had not booked. Later they cancelled DEL-CIT flight and started selling DEL-ALA (Almaty) flight. I could get a return ticket for about 7400 INR, which was a great deal. It includes only 5 kg cabin bag though. After some deliberation I booked my ticket for March 2024 travel sometime in September 2023. Mangaluru Delhi costs twice that amount on Indigo.

There was a 12k return ticket to Almaty from Delhi with Air Asthana in 2019- I didn't plan that time as it was too cold. Few of my friends went to Kazaksthan last year. I took some time to decide and plan.

March is still cold in Almaty- not as cold as December and Jan but still not summer yet. It is still off season hence airline was selling tickets cheap. For April, ticket price costs twice as much.

Ticket Booking:

There were payment issues booking directly on FlyArystan issues. But I could book easily on Cleartrip. Had to pay a few hundred rupees more. (Cleartrip has to provide for currency conversion, forex charges etc). Detailed post on FlyArystan booking experience here


Fly Arystan mandates web check-in. I did web check in and got window seat auto assigned for both onward and return journey. Boarding pass won't be issued after web checkin, as airline needs to check passport and visa requirements. Airport check in would cost extra. There were two guys deployed in Delhi airport to check if passengers have done web check in, if not they would do web check in and give seat number in a piece of paper to passengers. I find this part very odd.

At Delhi airport, there is no fly arystan branding. Everything operates under Air Astana, its parent company branding. Most likely Fly Arystan wanted to save some airport fees and staffing costs by using already existing infra of Air Astana, just like both Air India and Air India express operate under Air India branding.

Then we go to check -in counter, staff weighed my bag which was exactly 5 kgs. (I had prepared for this) A tag was added to indicate that my bag is limited to 5 kgs. I was told not to buy any duty free, as duty free goods are not allowed if passenger exceeds 5kg cabin bag limit.

As my turn came many customers ahead were arguing on weight limit and many were made to pay extra.

Almaty is visa on arrival for Indians if stay is not longer than 14 days. Else eVisa is needed.

Cleared formalities and went to gate. Inbound aircraft came in some 20-30 minutes late and then soon our boarding started. Staff would check weight again not for every passenger but anyone whom they suspected to be heavier.

Aircraft was clean, decent. Fly Arystan using A320s and has nice external branding of a lion logo on the tail. Nothing special or negative about their service. Some red branding inside. As soon as I got to my seat I buckled up and slept, as it was 2.30 AM. Had no mood for food or anything. Woke up just before landing.

Return flight was uneventful too. Managed to take a look at the menu options. Some decent food items are offered at fair price. But it was again a midnight flight and I had dozed off when staff came with trolleys I guess. Could have tried the pizza and coffee if they had asked. Return flight was on-time.

All email communication from Flyarystan are in Kazak langauge. Had to use google translater to understand their email contents. Only final feedback form they sent promptly in English. In flight announcements were in English

Flyarystan schedule doesn't seem to be very reliable- they had DEL-Shymkent flight which they cancelled, Fly Arystan has also cancelled Mumbai-Almaty flight. Delhi-ALA is the only flight they are operating now to India. Hopefully this doesn't get cancelled. 15k seems to be standard starting return fair now. Will have to wait till next off season for cheaper fares I guess. Next option- Indigo and Air Asthana cost much more.

Now AirAsia is flying to Almaty from KUL, but they are not offering connection from India yet.
Indigo and Air Astana are other 2 operators flying to Almaty from Delhi/India- both of them 2x-3x expensive compared to Fly Arystan.

Flyarystan overall feedback
- Basic and decent low cost airline service in clear aircrafts, no complaints
- 5 kg cabin bag allowance will be very less for many people- either learn to manage or pay for extra luggage
- Flyarystan has cancelled BOM-ALA, DEL-CIT and other flights from time to time, so keep a plan B in case your flight is cancelled last minute.
-KC7179, the Almaty-Delhi flight was not possible to track on flightstats. KC7180, DEL-ALA could be tracked. Not sure why one leg is missing in tracker site.

Because the fly Arystan tickets were very cheap I could make a trip to Kazakhstan and explore my 54th country. Wouldn't have spent 25-30k to visit Almaty. (I've to factor Mangalore-Delhi flight cost as well).  

Not planning to fly Flyarystan again anytime soon, but let us see.

More about Kazaksthan in my main blog,

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