In a move backed by the government of Kyrgyzstan, Manas International Airport has purchased two Dash 8-400 series aircraft. The unusual move is part of a plan to increase the number of seats and reduce domestic ticket priced in the mountainous Central Asian country. Delivery is planned for May 2024.
The airport, working through airframe manufacturer De Havilland Canada, purchased the Dash 8-400s which will be the first of the new plan. The aircraft will be customized with drop down oxygen and the capacity to fly 80 passengers comfortably and will come with the manufacturer’s customer support program that will ensure its long-term operation in their fleet.
According to information from De Havilland Canada, the deal marks the first time that it’s aircraft have been based at Manas International, which is the largest airport in the country.
While it is unusual for airport operators to buy aircraft, it is not without precedent. Since the pandemic, Bolzano Airport in Italy founded SkyAlps to improve tourism in the region, while the financial backers of Bournemouth Airport in the UK founded European Cargo to haul goods between Europe and the Far East.