Domestic Airlines Union Established

Five domestic airlines joined together to establish a union under the auspices of ACCI to strengthen member coordination activities in its relationship to the government and international unions. The ceremony to announce the creation of the domestic aviation union was attended by Acting-Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation; Senator Ehsanulla Bayat; Egyptian Ambassador to Kabul; Turkish Business Attaché to Kabul; members of ACCI Board of Directors, and approximately 200 interested members.

Mr. Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, CEO of ACCI lauded the decision of the domestic airlines to band together. He said, “Coordination between domestic carriers will result in bringing more uniform services, a possible reduction in ticket prices, and a climate that is more responsive to passenger demands.”

The union is now comprised of Arianna Airlines, Kam Air, Safi Airways, East Horizon Airline, and Khurasan Cargo.  The initial organizational structure is made up of Mr. Ahmad Farid Paykar of KamAir who will serve as Chairman of the Union Board; Mr. Lutfulla Taslim from Arianna Airlines as Deputy Chairman of the Union while Mr. Mohammad Dawood Sharifi (Safi Airways), Mr. Basir Akid (East Horizon Airline), and Mr. Ahmad Navid (Khurasan Cargo) round out the membership of the Union’s Board of Directors.  The Secretary of the Union is Mr. Farid Nazari from Safi Airways.

“In accordance with Article 35 of the Constitution and Article 5 of the Chamber Law, we have created the union in order to further coordination between domestic airlines as well as with Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation to offer better services and prices to passengers,” Mr. Paykar said.

Mr. Najafi, Acting-Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation congratulated the managing directors of Afghan air carriers for taking the step to move forward together.  “Now, our airlines have a collective voice where we can receive their comments about the government’s aviation policies.”  He also reiterated that the Civil Aviation regulation which has been drafted by his Ministry will be presented to the Council of Ministers soon.  Further, Mr. Najafi mentioned the continuing effort of the Ministry to getting international landing rights for Afghan air carriers.

Earlier this month, ACCI and Afghan air carriers voiced their opposition to the proposed Open Sky policy allowing foreign carriers’ unfettered access to Afghan air space.  Since that time, the government has backed down on this policy and will not consider adopting an open policy relative to its aviation policy.

During the past decade, aviation in Afghanistan has growth significantly.  KamAir was the first private airlines to enter the aviation sector.  Since then, Safi Airways and Pamir Airways have also established a presence in the air carrier space.  It must be noted that Pamir Airways had their license revoked last year by the Ministry.  However, two airlines namely, East Horizon Airline and Khurasan Cargo have recently joined the aviation sector.