Afghanistan's Safi brings A340 onto Frankfurt route

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Afghanistan's Safi Airways is introducing an Airbus A340 on services to Germany from next month.

The carrier is acquiring an A340-300 which will be used on the thrice-weekly Kabul-Frankfurt route.

Safi had stated earlier this year that it was looking for a second long-haul aircraft to complement its Boeing 767-200ER.

The A340 is configured with 285 seats in three classes: 30 in business class, 28 in premium economy, and 227 in economy.

Safi adds that it intends to offer in-seat audio and video in-flight entertainment on the jet from February 2010.

Chairman Rahim Safi says the aircraft demonstrates the confidence the carrier has in the route.

"The Kabul-Frankfurt route has been received well from the beginning," he says. "Passenger load in the past, as well as advanced bookings, continuously exceed our expectations."

He says that Safi Airways will be the first carrier to operate an aircraft as large as the A340.

German overhaul firm Lufthansa Technik is to include the A340 in its four-year component-support and line maintenance agreement with the Afghan carrier.

Lufthansa Technik already supports the airline's 767 as part of the arrangement.