Ariana Afghan Airlines

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Ariana Afghan Airlines was established in January 1955. An American commercial pilot relocated several war-surplus Dakota Aircraft to Afghanistan which he had been operating as a private air service in India after the end of World War ll. Prior to that there had been no air service for passengers within Afghanistan, even though the Royal Afghan Air Force had been in existence for some years. The utility of air travel was soon recognized by the Afghan Government, and the airlines was incorporated more formally as "Ariana Afghan Airlines".

Some thirty PanAm technicians and managers were assigned in a full-time basis to the joint venture. Services expanded as Afghan personal were trained and more facilities became available. During those early years, the airline's operational and maintenance headquarters was located in Kandahar, the second city of Afghanistan located in the southern plains and well suited to airline operations because of the lack of adjacent mountain ranges. Initial operations were from a sandy runway, and maintenance work was done in the open with only minimum shelter.

The PanAm partnership with Ariana had two objectives, being to operate the airline profitably, and to train Afghan nationals to eventually assume all operational and management roles. This meant years of training and development, and to a major extent, both objectives were accomplished.

Initially Ariana was staffed with foreign pilots and mechanics primarily Indians. as Afghan professionals gained their their qualifications, they assumed responsible positions. Initial flight training was conducted in Kandahar with three small aircraft with the best trainees then sent to the United Sates to acquire FAA commercial successes with Instrument Ratings. During the 1970s and 80s, 26 Afghan pilots completed this intensive training program, eleven qualified as captains with FAA Air Transport Ratings, the highest license rating obtainable Flight Engineer Licenses and were placed on Ariana flight duty.

A considerable number of nationals were trained for specialized airline professions, such as dispatchers communicators, engineers, flight attendants, logistics, flight.

Service specialists, as well as management staff for accounting traffic, sales and so on. By the time that the PanAm partnership was terminated in 1985, Ariana employed about 650 people, over 630 of whom were Afghan.

After the tragedy of the September 11 attacks on the United States, an international coalition quickly coalesced to ally with the Afghan resistance to depose what had become a criminal rouge regime. In the course of the rapid and decisive onslaught, Ariana lost six of its eight remaining planes during the bombing of air fields around Afghanistan.

Ariana Afghan Airlines is also already well on its way to recovery. The Boeing fleet has been expanded, and the Government of India has generously granted several Airbus passenger planes to expand their fleet. Routes are rapidly being extended once again. By the third quarter of 2002 the Ariana network has expanded from neighbouring nations to the Arab Gulf states, to India, Turkey and Germany. Plans are in process for more routes to match once again the peak of Ariana operations and, sooner rather than later, to surpass that mark.

Ariana is very proud to be spreading their wings again. They offer their passengers a well-maintained air fleet, convenient routes, attractive prices, and the best of traditional Afghan hospitality.


Ariana Afghan Airlines
P.O. Box 76
Kabul, Afghanistan

+93-20-2100351, +873-762-523 844/5
+873-762-523 846

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