Kazakhstan’s flagship carrier, Air Astana, has recorded a 14% increase in passenger numbers in the first half of 2010. Meanwhile, revenue has jumped 24% to US$245 million compared to the same period in last year. “Air Astana continues to lead the CIS region with its modern fleet, expanding network, and service improvements, “said Air Astana President Peter Foster. “Financial results have exceeded expectations. These have been driven by revenue increases across all markets. Although the cost savings which resulted in 2009 being a record year have come under some pressure with the improving economy, overall prospects for the full year are good.”The carrier scheduled almost 13,000 flights in the past six months, with an average passenger load factor of 66%. Half yearly profit before tax was a record $33.5 million, up 34% over 2009.