Afghanistan’s new Safi Airways is close to finalising contracts that will increase its presence in the skies.
The privately owned airline, whose headquarters are in Dubai, wants to establish routes to Europe and Southeast Asia. Talks on the new destinations have almost been concluded, said Chairman Abdul Rahim Safi.
“All that we need to do is sign on the dotted line,” he added. “We will announce the list shortly.”
The airline’s first scheduled flights include services from Dubai to Kabul, Jeddah, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Moscow and Delhi. Passenger flights, as well as charter flights, are planned between Kabul and several European destinations. Routes to Frankfurt, Paris, London, Southeast Asia and Africa are next on the agenda. And the airline is considering further expansion in Afghanistan.
“We are proud to be the first airline in Afghanistan to operate in compliance with European Aviation Safety Agency requirements,” said Safi. The firm, owned by the Dubai-based Safi family, operates two Boeing B767-200ER aircraft.
Meanwhile Eddie Lim, the former Australian regional head of Emirates airline, has been brought in to run the airline. Safi Airways has developed its own fixed based operations (FBO) and ground-handling equipment at Kabul International Airport. “We maintain the best ground-handling equipment in Afghanistan,” said Safi. “Safi Airways’ FBO will handle not only our own fleet but also support other airlines with which Safi Airways co-operates outside Afghanistan.
“The handling facility is equipped to manage a wide range of aircraft types, from small business jets to large freighters such as the B-747.
“Safi Airways will generate value for its customers, employees and stakeholders and become recognised as a leading cost-effective airline.”
Safi was established in September 2006. A spokesman said: “Our first aircraft are extended range Boeing B767-200ER featuring 18 business class and 196 premium economy class seats. By striving to attain excellence, Safi Airways will generate value for customers.”
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