MIAMI — Kazakh flag carrier, Air Astana, has taken delivery of the first of five Embraer E190-E2 aircraft, featuring an impressive Snow Leopard livery. The design follows the manufacturer’s lead of painting predator animals on the nose of some of its E2 test airplanes.
The five E190-E2s are coming in to replace older Air Astana E1 generation planes, which joined the airline in 2011.
In addition, the airline boasts a fleet of 34 planes, of which nine are Airbus A320ceo/neos, seven A321ceo/neos, five Boeing 757-200s, and three 767-300(ER)s.
The first of 11 brand-new A320neos joined the airline in November 2016, all in a lease from Air Lease Corporation (ALC).
Even though Embraer came up with the idea to paint predators on the nose of its E2 airplanes by calling it a “Profit Hunter,” Air Astana’s motive is slightly different.
The Kazakh carrier notes that the livery aims to draw attention to the threat of extinction of the wild cat—native to the mountain ranges in southern Kazakhstan.
“With the untypical snow leopard livery, the airline is striving to bring global attention to what is an endangered species, raising awareness of environmental issues,” said the airline in a statement.
The new aircraft flew all the way from Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil, to Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport in Astana, with stops in Recife, Faro, and Aktobe—A 8,740-mile delivery flight.
Just recently, in mid-November, an Air Astana E190 was forced to perform an emergency landing after its crew partially lost control of the aircraft.
Reportedly, flight KC1388 had to divert to Beja Airport in Portugal, after departing Lisbon, due to a complete loss of instruments, which caused its pilots to losing partial control of the aircraft.
The plane had been in maintenance at Alverca Airport in Portugal since October 2, receiving a C Check.