Management team

President and CEO

Our ongoing activities are managed by the President. The President, our sole executive body, must abide by the resolutions of the General Meeting of Shareholders and the Board of Directors.

In accordance with the relevant laws and our Charter, the President is authorised to carry out the following activities on behalf of our Company:

  • implementation of the business plan and the resolutions of the Board of Directors, as well as the preparation, jointly with the Company’s Chief Accountant, of proposed business plans, annual financial statements, and annual management reports, and their submission for further consideration
  • conclusion and signing of agreements and contracts; acting on behalf of our Company in the conclusion of deals with other entities, organisations, companies and institutions, including government agencies
  • procurement of loans and approval of bank accommodations allowing our Company to obtain credit worth up to USD 1 million
  • approval and conclusion of a single transaction or a set of related transactions to establish or alter pledges, mortgages, liens, charges or other encumbrances with respect to our assets worth a total amount of up to USD 1 million (or the equivalent amount in KZT)
  • issuing and approving documents governing our internal activities for the purpose of workflow management, including orders and instructions related to production, engineering and technical maintenance; procurement of goods, works and services; accounting; commercial policies; labour and employment issues; and making amendments and/or additions to such documents
  • and other functions.
Corporate structure



President AND CEO

Peter Foster entered the airline industry immediately after graduating from Cambridge University in 1982 as a management trainee at John Swire and Sons, the owner of Cathay Pacific Airways (CPA). From 1982 to 1999, he served in variety of management and senior management positions with CPA in Hong Kong, Asia, Australia and Europe, and underwent business management training at INSEAD in France. He subsequently served as Chief Executive Officer of Royal Brunei Airlines from 2002 to 2005 prior to his appointment as President of Air Astana. In the UK New Year’s Honours List Peter Foster was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to British aviation in Kazakhstan.

Does not hold any shares in Air Astana.


Chief Planning Officer

Alma was one of the first employees to begin working at Air Astana in 2001, even before the airline’s first flight. Alma started her career as a corporate development manager and worked her way up to the position of Corporate Development Director and later Vice President of Planning, Senior Vice President Corporate Planning. She currently holds the position of Chief Planning Officer. She graduated with an MBA from East Carolina University (USA), having received a Bolashak International Scholarship, and she also has an Aerospace MBA from the Toulouse Business School in France.


Chief Financial Officer

Ibrahim Canliel works for Air Astana as Chief Financial Officer and has been with the Company since its early stages in 2003. He started his career initially in tourism in Turkey during the 90s and he joined the aviation world with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 1998; briefly in the Gulf and consequently in Kazakhstan for Central Asia. For the past 15 years, Ibrahim managed different business units in commercial and finance. Ibrahim was a EUROBAK board member during the earlier days from 2005 to 2007, and this year he continued his membership. He holds a bachelor degree in Economics from the Marmara University and an MBA at Bosphorus University. Ibrahim is married and has two daughters.


Senior Vice President, Engineering Group

John was educated in the UK and trained at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford. He has more than 40 years of experience in technical aircraft maintenance, including both Base and Line Maintenance. After completing his training he worked for Britannia Airways for about 20 years, he then moved to South-East Asia working as ‘Head of Maintenance’ for Royal Brunei Airlines in Brunei, Nepal and Vietnam.

He moved from Brunei to Australia in 2005 and started working for Air Astana in 2006. He is an European Aviation Safety Agency Licenced Engineer holding Categories B1 & C.


Vice President, Finance Accounts, Chief Accountant

Azamat received his education at Suleiman Demirel University in the field of accounting, audit and economics. He started his career in 2003 as an auditor at Ernst and Young, then continued at KPMG and gained extensive audit experience in the field of aviation. He became an audit manager in 2007, and he joined Air Astana as Senior Manager for Finance in April 2009. In January 2013, he was appointed Director of Engineering Finance and Materials Management in the Engineering and Technical Support Department. Azamat has gained extensive experience in aviation industry financial issues, and was appointed Vice President Finance Accounts Chief Accountant of Air Astana in April 2017. In 2017, he completed the Programme for Advanced Development of Managers at the Cranfield School of Management.


Vice President, HR and Administration

Yevgeniya graduated from Karagandy State University with a degree in foreign languages and a degree in law. She holds a number of diplomas and certificates in the field of management and HR. Since 2002, she has worked as the Executive Assistant to the President of Air Astana, and she is currently the head of the Human Resources Department, which is in charge of the Occupational Health and Safety Department, the Administrative Service Office and day-to-day logistics for the Company. Under her leadership, the Company introduced a transparent system of recruitment and corporate training, as well as an employee performance assessment and remuneration system. Yevgeniya regularly takes part in professional conferences and congresses as an expert, moderator and speaker.


Chief Operating Officer

Anthony has over 35 years of experience in aviation. Prior to joining Air Astana in 2012 he was General Manager Operations and OPS post holder at Air France/KLM subsidiary Cityjet from 2001 where he was responsible for all Operations functions. Prior to that he was a Director at CAE Parc Aviation. His early career was as a pilot with the Irish Air Corps where he held a number of Operational appointments including Chief Flying Instructor retiring with the rank of Commandant. He holds an EASA and FAA Air Transport Pilot License. He is a graduate of University College Dublin in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics.


Senior Vice President, Corporate Safety Compliance

Gerhard holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and graduated with honours in transport economics from the University of South Africa. He is a qualified accident investigator, with qualifications in (aviation) safety programme management from several institutions, including the University of Southern California.

Gerhard began his career as an air force navigator, and he has been engaged in the field of flight safety for over 30 years. He has also served as a staff officer responsible for flight security in the South African Air Force and as a managing advisor to BAE Systems.


Senior Vice President, Government, Regulatory Affairs and Security

Yerbol started his pilot’s career as Cadet Officer of Krasnokut Flight School in 1972, Russia. In 1985, he graduated from the Officers Training Faculty of the Civil Aviation Academy in Leningrad, Russia, where he received his managerial qualification as Pilot- Engineer. In 2002, he achieved his Bachelor of Law degree from the Law School of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

Yerbol has over 45 years of experience in aviation and holds a US FAA ATPL license with Type Rating of Boeing 767/757 and a Transport Canada APTL license with Type Rating of Boeing 767/757 following flight training at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics (Florida, US) and Canadian Airlines (Vancouver, Canada).

Since 1992 he served as the Chief Pilot for the fleet of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 2005, he joined Air Astana and is currently a Senior Vice President for Government, Regulatory Affairs and Security, as well as a pilot-instructor on Boeing 757/767s.


Vice President, Fuel Management

Galina earned MPA (Master of Public Administration) degree from KIMEP University. She is a CFA charterholder (Chartered Financial Analyst) and certified FRM (Financial Risk Manager) with more than 15 years of experience in civil aviation.


Vice President, Legal Affairs

Aidar graduated from the Faculty of Law at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, and he was also a visiting scholar at Southern Illinois University in the USA. He has more than 25 years of experience in the field of law.

He started his legal practice in 1993 with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Prior to joining Air Astana, he worked for Denton Wilde Sapte, a KPMG consulting company, and was the Law Department Manager at Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V., an oil company in western Kazakhstan. In 2017, he completed the Programme for Advanced Development of Managers at the Cranfield School of Management.


Vice President, IT and E-business

Chamindra joined Air Astana in January 2009. He is a professional in airline business and IT, with management experience in three National Carriers. Before joining the airline industry, Chamindra was employed in university research in Electronics and Telecommunications. Chamindra holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (University of Colombo), a Bachelor of Laws Degree (University of London) and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering (University of Moratuwa). Further, he is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP, PMI - USA) and a Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP) of British Computer Society. Chamindra holds certifications in different IT domains and is a professional in airline reservations, ticketing, departure control systems and business operations.


Vice President, Corporate Communications

Bella has a Master’s Degree in International Relations. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of public relations and information and culture. She has also taken part in numerous training courses outside of Kazakhstan.

Before joining Air Astana, she worked in the Representative Office of the European Commission accredited in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan.


Vice President, Procurement

Dilyara graduated from KIMEP Business Administration and Accounting Faculty with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, with a major in Management and Finance.

After graduation, she worked at Ernst & Young and KIMEP. She joined Air Astana in 2006 as a Financial Analyst and then became the head of Management Accounts, Director of the Procurement Department, and now the Vice President for Procurement.


Vice President, Operations Control

Russel holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. He has more than 30 years of experience in aviation. He held several senior positions in various airlines in South Africa and the Middle East before joining Air Astana in 2007. His initial experience stems back to the military industry, where he was a qualified navigator and instructor. Russel is responsible for day-to-day operational control of the airline to ensure that the commercial schedule is operated as efficiently as possible without compromising safety.


Vice President, Marketing and Sales

Richard began his career in the aviation industry in 1993 after graduating from Lancaster University with a Master’s Degree in Travel and Tourism and from the University of London with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography.

Prior to joining Air Astana, he spent five years in corporate sales for Singapore Airlines before becoming Sales and Marketing Manager at Royal Brunei Airlines in January 2005. Richard joined Air Astana in March 2006 as the Regional General Manager for the EU, USA and Canada, and was responsible for the creation of a sales network in those regions. Richard relocated to Almaty in February 2009, assuming the position of Director of Worldwide Sales. In January 2014, he was promoted to Vice President for Sales and subsequently to Vice President for Marketing and Sales in January 2017.


Vice President, In-Flight Services

Margaret was educated at the College of Commerce Ireland. She has more than 20 years of experience in the aviation industry. She has completed a number of EU OPS, management and instructor training courses.

From 1995 to 2012, Margaret held the positions of Head of Cabin Crew Training and Standards and Head of Cabin Services at CityJet, a subsidiary of Air France–KLM. She joined Air Astana in 2013 as Director In-Flight Services, and in January 2016 was appointed Vice President In-Flight Services.


Vice President, Commercial Planning

Aiman graduated from Kazakh National University. In 2016, she began taking a course for directors at the Cranfield School of Management, which she completed in 2017. From 1998 to 2003, she worked for Air Kazakhstan. In 2003, she started working at Air Astana as a Commercial Planning manager and worked her way up to Commercial Planning and Revenue Management Director, and she was appointed Vice President for Network Planning and Revenue Management in January 2013. Since 2018, she has been Vice President for Commercial Planning.


Vice President, Management Accounts and Risk Management

Aizhan graduated from Taraz State University and holds a diploma in international economic relations, as well as an MBA from the KIMEP Business Administration and Accounting Faculty, with a specialisation in management and finance.

She started working for Air Astana in August 2006 as a financial analyst. From June 2012 to January 2014, she was the Head of the Management Accounting Department. Today, she is the Vice President for Management Accounting and Risk Management.


Vice President, Ground Services

Alexandr graduated from the Faculty of International Relations of the Eurasian National University and started his career at Air Astana in 2005 in the Ground Services Department as a ground handling agent. During his career at the Company, Alexandr has held various positions with a high degree of responsibility, including a number of management positions since 2010. He has been heading up the Company’s representative office at the airport in Almaty since 2013. In 2013, he completed the Management Training Programme at Cranfield University in Great Britain. In January 2016, he was appointed Director of Ground Services, and in January 2017, he was promoted to Vice President of Ground Services.


Vice President, Flight Operations

Mergali has more than 30 years of experience in the aviation industry. His career in aviation began at the Institute of Civil Aviation Engineers in Riga. He then graduated from the Aktyubinsk Higher Flight School of Civil Aviation, before working as a Yak-40 pilot in Kokshetau and then transferring to the Almaty squadron. He has been a pilot-in-command and a flight instructor on the Tu-154 and A-310. He began his career with Air Astana in 2004 as a Boeing 757 pilot-in-command.