Afghan carrier Safi to open European link to Frankfurt

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Afghan carrier Safi Airways is to open a European connection to Frankfurt next month, a development which follows recognition of the airline's compliance with ICAO standards.

Safi Airways is to start operating the Kabul-Frankfurt service, its first long-haul connection, on 15 June.

It will fly the route thrice-weekly using Boeing 767-200ER aircraft, configured with 18 business-class and 196 economy-class seats.

The airline has just been formally certified as ICAO-compliant and chief executive Tilmann Gabriel says it will "work towards" a full IATA operational audit.

Afghan transport minister Hidullah Farrooqi says the Government is pursuing a "safe, secure and robust aviation system" in Afghanistan and wants to "encourage" all carriers to adopt ICAO practices.

Safi Airways, founded in 2006, also has a fleet of Boeing 737-300s. The carrier operates to the Gulf region as well as to several Afghan cities.