Almaty International Airport

Халықаралық Алматы Әуежайы

Halyqaralyq Almaty Äuejaiy
Airport typePublic
OwnerGroupe ADP
OperatorTAV Airports Holding
LocationAlmaty, Kazakhstan (inside city limits)
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL681 m / 2,234 ft
Coordinates43°21′19″N 077°02′41″E / 43.35528°N 77.04472°E / 43.35528; 77.04472
ALA/UAAA is located in Kazakhstan
Location in Almaty, Kazakhstan
ALA/UAAA is located in Asia
ALA/UAAA is located in Eurasia
ALA/UAAA (Eurasia)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05R/23L 4,400 14,436 Concrete
05L/23R 4,500 14,764 Concrete
Statistics (2023)
Source: AIP Kazakhstan[2]

Almaty International Airport[a] (IATA: ALA, ICAO: UAAA), is the largest international airport of Kazakhstan, surpassing Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport (NQZ) in Astana and the principal hub of Air Astana. It serves Almaty, the largest and most populous city in the country, and, with its surface transport links, much of the rest of the country.

It is the busiest airport both in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. In 2023, the airport handled 9,547,136 passengers per year for the first time.[3] In 2022, Almaty International Airport had a total of 7.2 million passengers, 63% of whom were domestic passengers and 37% international passengers.[4] In 2022, the airport handled 88,400 tonnes cargo making the airport the largest one in Kazakhstan in terms of tonnes of cargo handled that year.

Owners and management

The airport is registered under name of "JSC Almaty International Airport", which is owned by Turkish airport company TAV Airports Holding.


The airport is located approximately 8.1 NM (15.0 km; 9.3 mi) to the north-east of central Almaty, on the outskirts of the city. It is bordered by a mix of open land and residential settlements. The airport is located north of the settlement of Guldala, and north-east of other city districts, including Tbilisskaya and Kolhozshy, all of which lie within the wider region of Almaty.


Early years

The airport was built in 1935 for the use of small civil and military aircraft.[5] Till1990, it was the part of Kazakh Department of Civil Aviation, and then reorganized into "Alma-Ata Airport" in 1991. Since 1993, it has run as an independent business unit. In 1994, it was reorganized into OJSC "Almaty Airport" and later renamed to JSC Almaty International Airport.

The supersonic transport (SST) Tupolev Tu-144 began service on 26 December 1975, flying mail and freight between Moscow and Alma-Ata in preparation for passenger services, which commenced in November 1977. The Aeroflot flight on 1 June 1978 was the Tu-144's 55th and last scheduled passenger service.

Following a runway reconstruction in 1998, Almaty airport was awarded a CAT II certificate and the status of an international airport.

On 9 July 1999, a fire started in the shashlik kitchen of the airport restaurant. The terminal building burned down in just a few hours, but without major injuries.

Development since 2000

Construction of a new terminal was completed in 2004. On 30 September 2008, a second runway was opened with the first departure being a BMI flight bound for London Heathrow. The new runway was also given an ICAO certificate for CAT III landings which will significantly reduce the number of planes diverting to nearby airfields due to low visibility, especially during the winter months. The runway is the longest in central Asia. The new runway can accept all types of aircraft without limitation of take-off weight and operation frequency.

Growth in connectivity is in danger of being compromised by airport infrastructure that is comparatively expensive and not keeping pace with demand growth. IATA is urging the Kazakhstan government to follow ICAO principles and eliminate differential ANSP charges between domestic and international carriers. Currently (2012), it is 18% more expensive to turn around an Airbus A320 in Almaty than at similarly sized airports in Europe. The differential rises to 43% for a Boeing 767.[6]

There were plans to build a new passenger terminal for international flights with six loading bridges and capacity up to 2,500 passengers per hour in the near future. A developed infrastructure complex consisting of a Marriott Hotel, conference halls, business center, shopping center and cinemas were planned to be within this terminal.

The new terminal was to be located along Kuldja Road to help reduce traffic on the way to the airport. However the terminal's construction was stopped due to managers postponing the project's construction in 2010 because of disagreements with Air Astana's plans for the terminal which was intended to serve Air Astana international flights while the existing terminal would serve domestic destinations. According to the managers, the problems of this plan would be that Air Astana would have facilities operating, and its planes transferring from one end of the runway to another which would create delayed transporting problems for Air Astana; since the runway lines would be busy with the having lack of space of creating new runways. It was concluded that the construction would be demolished, and a new terminal built for domestic and international flights. There are now plans to build a new airport in Kapchagai reservoir which is 48 km away from Almaty.[7]

On February 17, 2012, in Moscow, at the 32nd session of the Council on Aviation and the Use of Airspace of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), Almaty International Airport was recognized as the best in the CIS and received the prize "For Achievements in the Development of International Airports".[8]

Protesters seized the airport on 5 January during the 2022 Kazakh unrest, halting flights. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that eight members of Kazakh security forces had been killed and the insurgents had hijacked five airplanes, and he appealed to Russian security forces to retake the facility.[9][10] On 7 January, TASS reported that Collective Security Treaty Organization troops had occupied the airport and restored order.[11][better source needed]

In May 2022, a proposal was made to Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar by a group of deputies from the People's Party of Kazakhstan to name the airport after Kazakh Soviet communist politician Dinmukhamed Kunaev.[12]

In late 2022, the historical VIP terminal to the left of the main building was dismantled to be reconstructed on a new place (some 420 meters southeast on Akhmetov street), giving place for a new larger terminal building.[13][14]

Airlines and destinations


Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo[15]
Air Arabia Sharjah
AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur–International[16]
Air Astana[17] Aktau, Aktobe, Antalya, Astana, Atyrau, Baku, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beijing–Capital,[18] Bishkek, Delhi, Dubai–International, Dushanbe, Istanbul, Jeddah,[19] Kyzylorda, London–Heathrow,[20] Malè, Oral, Oskemen, Phuket,[21] Seoul–Incheon, Shymkent, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv (suspended)[22]
Seasonal: Bodrum, Heraklion,[23] Podgorica[24]
Seasonal charter: Colombo-Bandaranaike,[25] Hambantota–Mattala,[26] Sharm El Sheikh
AnadoluJet Ankara[27]
Asiana Airlines Seoul–Incheon
Azerbaijan Airlines Baku
Azimuth Sochi[28]
Belavia Minsk
China Southern Airlines Beijing–Daxing,[29] Ürümqi,[30] Xi'an[31]
FlyArystan Aktau, Aktobe, Astana, Atyrau,[32] Delhi,[33], Karagandy, Kostanay, Kutaisi, Mumbai,[34] Nukus (begins 3 June 2024),[35] Omsk, Oral, Pavlodar, Petropavl, Samarqand,Semey, Shymkent, Taraz, Türkıstan,[36] Yerevan[37]
flydubai Dubai–International
flynas Jeddah[38]
Hunnu Air Ulaanbaatar[39]
IndiGo Delhi[40]
Jazeera Airways Kuwait City[41]
Kish Air Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Loong Air Hangzhou[42]
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Neos Milan–Malpensa[43]
Nordwind Airlines Kaliningrad,[44] Samara[45]
Pegasus Airlines Ankara,[46] Antalya, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Qatar Airways Doha[47]
Qazaq Air Astana, Bishkek,[48] Kokshetau, Shymkent, Taraz[49]
Qeshm Air Tehran–Imam Khomeini[50]
Red Wings Airlines Makhachkala,[51] Moscow–Zhukovsky, Yekaterinburg
Rossiya Airlines Krasnoyarsk, Saint Petersburg (begins 1 June 2024)[52]
SalamAir Seasonal: Muscat[53]
SCAT Airlines[54] Aktau, Aktobe, Astana, Atyrau, Balkhash,[55] Haikou,[56] Jeddah,[57] Karagandy, Kostanay, Kyzylorda,[58] Lahore,[59] Medina,[57] Mineralnye Vody, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Oral, Oskemen, Petropavl, Sanya,[60] Semey, Shymkent, Taraz, Zhezkazgan
Seasonal: Antalya,[61] Phu Quoc
Seasonal charter: Goa–Dabolim,[62][63] Hambantota–Mattala[64]
Somon Air Dushanbe[65]
Sunday Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya, Malè, Nha Trang, Sharm El Sheikh
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Utair Tyumen
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent
VietJet Air Nha Trang[66]
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi[67]
Yakutia Airlines Seasonal: Irkutsk (begins 20 April 2024)[68]


Aerotranscargo[69] Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur–International
Atlas Air[70] Amsterdam, Chongqing, Liège, Zaragoza, Zhengzhou
Cargolux[71] Luxembourg
Cargolux Italia[72] Milan–Malpensa
Qatar Cargo[73] Doha, Hong Kong
SF Airlines[citation needed] Ezhou, Karaganda, Lanzhou, Liège, Yantai
Silk Way West Airlines[74] Baku
Turkish Cargo[75] Astana, Bishkek, Guangzhou, Istanbul, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Taipei–Taoyuan
UPS Airlines[citation needed] Cologne/Bonn, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong
YTO Cargo Airlines Xi'an


Air Astana maintains its hub at Almaty International Airport.
A Kazakhstan Airlines Ilyushin Il-86 at Almaty International Airport in 1996
Check-in hall

Annual traffic

Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on
Annual passenger traffic at ALA airport. See Wikidata query.
Annual passenger traffic[76][77][non-primary source needed][78]
Year Passengers % Change
2010 3,000,000 Steady
2011 3,665,538 Increase 22.2%
2012 4,003,004 Increase 9.2%
2013 4,323,224 Increase 8%
2014 4,588,866 Increase 6%
2015 4,905,307 Increase 6.9%
2016 4,878,450 Decrease 0.5%
2017 5,640,800 Increase 15.6%
2018 5,686,926 Increase 1%
2019 6,422,721 Increase 13%
2020 3,669,668 Decrease 42.9%
2021 6,103,657 Increase 66.3%
2022 7,230,156 Increase 18.5%
2023 9,547,136 Increase 32.0%

Accidents and incidents

See also


  1. ^ Kazakh: Халықаралық Алматы Әуежайы, romanized: Halyqaralyq Almaty Äuejaiy; Russian: Международный аэропорт Алматы.


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  5. ^ "Almaty International Airport". Airport Technology. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Building the 'Silk Road in the Sky' via Kazakhstan". The Gazette of Central Asia. Satrapia. 16 September 2012.
  7. ^ Бурдин, Виктор (16 May 2017). "Почему "Эйр Астана" против нового терминала аэропорта Алматы".
  8. ^ "Аэродром международного аэропорта Алматы назван лучшим в СНГ". (in Russian). Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  9. ^ Rodionov, Maxim; Trevelyan, Mark (5 January 2022). "Kazakh president seeks help from Russia-led security bloc". Reuters. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Kazakhstan president confirms takeover of Almaty airport | DW | 05.01.2022". Deutsche Welle. 5 January 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  11. ^ "Peacekeepers take control over Almaty airport - Russian Defense Ministry". TASS. Moscow. 7 January 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
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