Ariana Afghan Airlines

Ariana Afghan Airlines

Infobox Airline
airline = Ariana Afghan Airlines

logo_size = 231
fleet_size = 8 (+4 orders)
destinations = 15
callsign = ARIANA
parent =
company_slogan =
founded = 1955
headquarters = Kabul, Afghanistan
key_people =
hubs = Kabul International Airport
secondary_hubs =
focus_cities =
frequent_flyer =
lounge =
alliance =
subsidiaries =
website =

Ariana Afghan Airlines Co. Ltd. is the national airline carrier of Afghanistan, based in Kabul. The airlines operate domestic and international passenger services. It is wholly owned by the Afghan government and its main base is Kabul International Airport.cite news | title= Directory: World Airlines | work= Flight International | page= 77 | date= 2007-03-27]

The airline is on the list of air carriers banned in the European Union, with the exception of one plane registered in France; a leased Airbus A321 which maintains a service to Germany.


Ariana Afghan Airlines was established on January 27, 1955. During the 1970s, Ariana was considered a top notch airline company by many travel experts.Fact|date=February 2007 At that time, the airline operated equipment such as Douglas DC-10s. After withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1989 and collapse of former president Najibulla's communist government, the Taliban took over Kabul in 1996. Afghanistan faced substantial economic sanctions from the international sector during the Taliban regime. The sanctions, along with the Taliban government's control of the company and the grounding of many of the carrier's international flights, had a devastating effect on the economic health of the company through the 1990s. The fleet was reduced to only a handful of Russian and Ukrainian built An-26s, Yakovlev Yak-40s and three Boeing 727s, which were used on the longest domestic routes. In October 1996, Pakistan provided a temporary maintenance and operational base at Karachi. By 1999, Ariana flew only to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; also, limited cargo flights continued into China's western provinces. However, sanctions imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 1267 forced the airline company to suspend overseas operations. In November 2001, the airline was grounded completely.

Following the removal of the Taliban by NATO and Afghan Northern Alliance forces in the wake of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks, Ariana began to rebuild its operations in December 2001. About a month later, the UN sanctions were finally lifted, permitting the airline to fly again. As a gesture of good-will and a step towards developing foreign relations with Afghanistan, the government of India gave the state carrier three ex-Air India Airbus A300s. Ariana resumed flights to international destinations, and its first international passenger flight since 1999 landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India.



Ariana Afghan Cargo is the freight branch, they operate a single 727-200C freighter aircraft to various points in their network.


The Ariana Afghan Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft (at 18 June 2008):

*1 Airbus A300B4-200
*1 Airbus A310-300 (operated by Saga Airlines)
*1 Antonov An-24
*4 Boeing 727-200
*1 Boeing 727-200F (Cargo Freighter)


*4 Boeing 737-700 (delivery in 2009) [ [ Boeing order] ]

Former fleet

Ariana fleet was composed of the following aircraft between the 1970s and 1990s, Antonovs were part of it till 2005:

*Boeing 707-320
*Boeing 720B
*Boeing 727-100C (cargo freighter)
*Boeing 757-200
*McDonnell Douglas DC-10
*Tupolev Tu-134
*Tupolev Tu-154

They also operated three Airbus A310-300 briefly between 2003 and 2006.

Incidents and accidents

*In 1969, a Boeing 727 arriving at London Gatwick Airport from Frankfurt International Airport crashed into a house, killing 50 of the 66 persons aboard. The pilot attempted to land in dense fog, despite being advised to divert to London Heathrow. A married couple living at the house also died. Miraculously, their baby survived.
*In 1985, an Antonov An-26 of Ariana was shot down by rebels near Kandahar, killing all 47 passengers and 5 crew.
*In 1984, A McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Descending to land Kabul International Airport from Kandahar at 14,000 feet above sea level 12 miles away from the airport was hit by rocket in engine number 1 tailcone 300 passengers aboard no fatalities.
*In 1989, a door opened aboard a Antonov An-24 in the middle of a flight from Kabul to Zaranj, and six people were killed when the plane crashed onto a hill.
*In 1992, a Tupolev 154M, carrying the then president of Afghanistan Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, was hit by an RPG as it was on approach to land at Kabul Airport. The plane landed safely, with no fatalities. [ [ Aviation Safety Net] ] [ [ Human Rights Watch report] ]
*In 1995, another An-26 crashed, after running out of fuel at Jalalabad, and three passengers died.
*In 1997, another crash occurred in Jalalabad when a Yakovlev Yak-40 crashed while landing, resulting in two fatalities.
*On 19 March,1998, a 727 from Kandahar to Kabul crashed after hitting a mountain, resulting in the loss of all 45 on board.
*In February 2000, to escape a Taliban death squad, nine men, led by brothers Ali Safi and Mohammed Safi, hijacked a Boeing 727 containing more than 180 people. The plane was diverted through the former Soviet republics and Russia before landing at Stansted Airport north of London, where the hijacking ended four days later with a peaceful surrender. The men were convicted in December 2001 of hijacking, false imprisonment and weapons offenses. They each served sentences of between 27 and 30 months, and have since been granted asylum in the UK. It was later found that the hijacking was a drama orchestrated jointly by the hijackers, their families and other passengers in hope of getting asylum. [ [,,1772164,00.html Hijacking in 2000] ]
*On 23 March 2007 an Ariana Airbus A300B4 (YA-BAD) after a flight from Kabul via Ankara, landed at Atatürk International Airport, Istanbul, overran the runway and came to a halt resting on its right wing. The weather at the time was poor with rain and gusting winds. The aircraft is being dismantled. [cite news | title= Ariana A300 overruns while landing at Istanbul Ataturk | work= Flight International | page= 10 | date= 2007-04-03]

Banned in the EU

With the exception of one aircraft, the entire Ariana Afghan Airlines fleet is on the list of air carriers banned in the EU (as of July 2006). The rationale for the decision by the European Commission was the following (paraphrased):
*During ramp inspections performed by German authorities under the SAFA programme evidence of serious safety deficiencies on the part of Ariana Afghan Airlines with regard to a certain aircraft of its fleet came to light (SAFA inspections No LBA-D-2004-269, LBA-D-2004-341, LBA-D-2004-374 and LBA-D-2004-597).
*Ariana Afghan Airlines has demonstrated a lack of ability to address the safety deficiencies raised.
*The air carrier in question, Ariana Afghan Airlines, did not respond in an adequate and timely manner to an enquiry by the civil aviation authority of Germany regarding the safety aspects of its operation. This demonstrates a lack of communication.
*The regulatory authorities of Afghanistan, which have the responsibility for regulatory oversight of Ariana Afghan Airlines, have not exercised an adequate oversight over the aircraft used by this carrier in accordance with the obligations imposed on them under the Chicago Convention.
* Therefore and on the basis of the common criteria [ Fly Well portal] (Which contains links to the common air transport policy) en icon, "European Commission", March 22 2006] the Commission assessed that Ariana Afghan Airlines does not meet the common criteria and therefore should be banned from operating aircraft within the airspace of the Member States of the European Union. There is one exception: an Airbus A310 with registration number F-GYYY is registered in France and therefore subject to the oversight of the French authorities. [ Commission Regulation (EC) No 474/2006 of 22 March 2006] (PDF-file) en icon, "European Commission", March 22 2006]

Ariana maintains service to Germany as it is using a leased A321.

External links

;Official website
* [ Ariana Afghan Airlines] ;Other websites
* [ Ariana Afghan Airlines] at the Aviation Safety Network Database
* [ Piloting Afghanistan to a prosperous future]


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