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Profile: Rebuilding Afghanistan's international airline

04 October 2011

Safi Airways has survived management changes, and a ban on flying to Europe, to turn a profit since April.

Tags: Safi Airways  |  Afghanistan  |  International Civil Aviation Organization  |  Dubai  |  Delhi  |  John Roijen  |  Werner Borchert  |  Claus Fischer  |  chief financial officer

When private Afghan airline, Safi Airways, was banned from flying to Europe last year, it was a blow serious enough to force a relaunch of the company.

Frustratingly for Safi Airways, which is International Civil Aviation Organization-complaint, it was not the airline's fault.

The blanket ban issued by the European Union prevented any Afghan-registered aircraft from entering EU airspace, because of safety concerns about Afghanistan's airline regulatory body.

But it is not the airline's only problem. Since starting in 2006, Safi Airways, which flies two international routes, to Dubai and Delhi, has operated in a war zone.

The airline, which is owned by Afghanistan's Safi family, has its headquarters in Kabul. However, the company also keeps administrative offices in Dubai.

John Roijen, chief financial officer, Safi Airways, who joined the airline at the beginning of 2011, works most of the week from Dubai, and flies to Kabul just one day...


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