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“Astana” is the Russian noun for capital – a peculiarly unimaginative name for a country’s, er, capital – given that the actual Astana was a literally a blank slate a little over a decade ago. But with huge volumes of natural resources in the country, the purpose-built Kazakh capital has been one of the consistent bright spots for air cargo operators during a period in which recession has constantly crimped profits. Good news then that it is putting the finishing touches to plans for a state-of-the-art new airport.

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