Kazakhstan has implemented Open Skies at 11 airports as of Nov. 1.

Fifth freedom rights were granted to international carriers operating to the capital, Nur-Sultan, as well as Aktau, Almaty, Karagandy, Kokshetau, Pavlodar, Petropavlovsk, Semey, Shymkent, Taraz and Ust-Kamenogorsk.

Local authorities expect the measure will increase transfer traffic at the airports and attract new carriers that will develop international networks.

Open Skies will remain in effect for three years, but officials are prepared to extend it, the government said in a statement. The policy is valid if no Kazakhstani carriers operate the routes.

Kazakhstan has also agreed with Russia to allow new carriers to operate between the countries. Air Astana’s LCC FlyArystan will launch its first international route with daily service from Nur-Sultan to Moscow Zhukovsky on Dec. 13. In addition, S7 Airlines received permission from Russian authorities to provide up to 7X-weekly Moscow-Nur-Sultan service, and Ural Airlines received designations for 7X-weekly Yekaterinburg-Nur-Sultan and St. Petersburg-Almaty services.

Ural Airlines also wants permission for 3X-weekly Moscow-Taraz service, while IrAero Airlines has made a request for 7X-weekly Omsk-Karagandy and 3X-weekly Samara-Karagandy services.

In 2012, Russia and Kazakhstan amended their bilateral agreement regulating flights to liberalize commercial aviation between the countries.

Kazakhstan has also negotiated with Oman’s aviation authorities and expects SalamAir to launch flights to Almaty in 2020. The country also hopes to attract Qatar Airways, Emirates Airline and flydubai.

In October, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan’s southern neighbor, introduced Open Skies at five airports.

Polina Montag-Girmes, montag.girmes@gmail.com