10/17/2011

A Kazakhstan Government visitor

Yesterday, 16 October, a Boeing 757 of the Berkut State Air Company of Kazakhstan, believed to be operated by their Government, landed in Geneva. In January it was seen in Zurich at the time of the World Economic Forum.


The aircraft actually landed with the callsign BEC004, which is designated by the ICAO as the Berkut State Air Company. The company, often known as Berkut Air, does not seem to have any associated web site, but Wikipedia reports that it is based in Almaty, Kazakhstan and operates VIP flights out of Almaty International Airport. Wikipedia further reports that this aircraft, a Boeing 757-200ER, is one of three operated on behalf of the Government of Kazakhstan.

The aircraft itself was constructed in 1986 and was initially operated by Royal Brunei Airlines. It was acquired by Kazakhstan in 1995. It was photographed in Zurich on January 26 of this year, at the time of the World Economic Forum.

It is strange to note that this aircraft, now 25 years old, is listed as belonging to noise class V in the official Swiss list. This list, stated by the Geneva airport authorities as useful in encouraging airlines to switch to modern and quieter aircraft, was last updated in 2000. Propositions to update the list are proceeding at a slow (Swiss Government?) pace.

The only other aircraft from Kazakhstan which has been seen in Geneva this past three years appears to be a Yakovlev YAK-42D (noise class II, i.e. almost the noisiest), which landed on 17 July 2010 and left again 5 days later. That flight was operated by a Kazakhstan airline called Fly Jet, which was once on the EU banned list. Its arrival was, as usual, recorded by one of our spotters.

Anyone know of any special meeting in Geneva at this time?

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