Safi Airways To Double Route Network
The airline, which began operations in November 2007, achieved a growth in ticket sales of 400 per cent during 2009 compared to 2008 and currently operates scheduled flights to four destinations with four aircraft. Its primary hub destinations are Frankfurt, Germany, with five flights per week, and Dubai, UAE, with two flights daily. In February Safi signed interline agreements with Lufthansa, Emirates, Qatar Airways and the US carrier United Airlines. Safi recently reached agreements with Delta Air Lines, Air China and Hainan Airlines, which will further fuel growth.
"Our expansion over the past 18 months has been very encouraging and we are aiming to almost double the number of destinations we serve over the next 12 months," said Claus Fischer, Safi's Chief Commercial Officer.
Safi was the first Afghan airline to operate according to EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) standards and met the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards and will this summer undertake a full IOSA audit.
It was also the first airline to provide nonstop flights to and from Europe. Its inaugural flight from Kabul to Frankfurt in June 2009 was the first scheduled flight linking Afghanistan and Europe nonstop for over 30 years. In April 2010 the frequency was increased from three to five times per week which has already resulted in a 30 per cent increase in passengers.
"There are an estimated 10 million Afghans living and working abroad and we aim to provide them with safe, reliable and convenient flights home with a service to compare to any major airline," Fischer said.