War torn Afghanistan is set to get three more commercial airlines, further increasing competition against national carrier Ariana Afghan Airlines.
Afghanistan’s aviation and transportation minister, Niamatullah Ehsan Jawed, told journalists at a press conference in Kabul that three privately-owned carriers have received approval from the local civil aviation authority (CAA) and will start flying soon.
He says 15 applied in total but only three were approved – Afghan Airlines, Access Air and Safi Air.
Currently the country has just two commercial airlines: state-owned Ariana Afghan Airlines and privately-owned Kam Air.
Ariana operates an Antonov An-24, some Airbus A300s, Boeing 727s as well as a Boeing 757.
It has reportedly lost millions and is unable to serve Europe because the EU has banned it due to safety fears.
The safety record of privately-owned Afghan carrier Kam Air also took a battering in February 2006 when one of its Boeing 737-200s crashed, killing all 104 people on board.