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SFI-2012-01 - STATUS
SFI-2014-11 - KABUL TO KANDAHAR
SFI-2016-12 - ACCDT 737-400 at Kabul-A.jpg
SFI-2016-12 - ACCDT at Kabul-B.jpg
SFI-CABIN ATTENDANTS 2009-02
SFI-CABIN ATTENDANTS 2009-12
Formed in 2006 and started operations in 2007. Scheduled and charter, domestic, regional, and international, passenger and cargo, jet airplane services.
P O Box 184082
Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Safi Airline Center
Quai-e Markaz, Shar-e-Naw
Near Kabul City Center
Afghanistan (State of Afghanistan) was established in 1919, it covers an area of 652,090 sq km, its population is 21 million, its capital city is Kabul, and its official languages are Pashtu, Tajik, and Uzbek.
August 2007: 767-2J6ER (23745, YA-AQS - SEE PHOTO), ex-Air China (BEJ), was registration (B-2554).
September 2007: Safi Airways (SFI) is a privately-owned Afghanistan operator with services from its Dubai base which links Kabul with Abu Dhabi, Delhi, and Dubai, and Kabul with Herat. Has served Kabul, Dubai, Jeddah, Sharjah, Delhi, Amsterdam, London, Moscow, Paris, and Frankfurt. Has plans for more airplanes and routes, including services to Birmingham, Frankfurt, London Gatwick, Moscow, Paris, Delhi, and Amsterdam. Also offers executive, commercial, ambulance and cargo charters, and has an (FBO) and ground handling operation at Kabul Internat6ional Airport.
(IATA) Code: 4Q - 741. (ICAO) Code: SFW - (Callsign - SAFI AIRWAYS).
Main Base: Dubai International Airport (DXB).
October 2008: 737-322 (24662, JY-JAD), Jordan Aviation (JOR) wet-leased.
February 2009: Employee total = 180.
2 737-300s, ex-Air China (BEJ), deliveries following work by Indonesia-based (GMF)-AeroAsia.
The 737's will offer daily domestic flights to Herat in the west of the country, and be followed later by service to Kandahar. The 737s will also replace the 767 on the Kabul - Dubai service. The 767 will then start operating flights to Europe - - initially to Paris via Kuwait, then to Frankfurt, via Sharjah. The reason for the stops en route is not technical, but commercial - - both countries grant (SFI) fifth freedom rights, making the stop commercially viable.
Other plans for (SFI) include a 3rd European destination to London Gatwick plus connections to Delhi and Chennai. (SFI) has already signed an agreement with Kingfisher (KFH) to provide onward connections to passengers inside India.
April 2009: Safi Airways (SFI) will launch its 1st intercontinental route, a 3x-weekly nonstop, Kabul - Frankfurt service on June 15. (SFI) will use a 2-class 767-200ER on the route. (SFI) plans to join the principal international Global Distribution Systems (GDS)s next month. It currently flies to Kabul, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Sharjah, Kandahar, Herat, and Mazar-e-Sherif.
July 2009: Safi Airways (SFI) Chairman, Abdul Rahim Safi said the Afghan airline "has progressed so quickly in the past 4 months" that it will "undergo a major renewal of its fleet with either Boeing (TBC) or Airbus (EDS) airplanes," according to the airline. It currently flies 2 737-300s and 1 767-200ER. It plans to use new airplanes to serve Jeddah, Beijing and Moscow within the next 6 months.
Travelport Global Distribution Service (GDS) signed an agreement with Safi Airways (SFI) to provide travel agents worldwide access to fares and routes from the carrier as well as the ability to e-ticket bookings. It said (SFI) will be the 1st Afghan carrier to participate in the (GDS) channel.
December 2009: Safi Airways (SFI) is looking beyond the complicated domestic operating environment and hopes to enhance its international profile with the addition of a 285-seat, A340-300 it plans to use on its 3x-weekly, Kabul - Frankfurt service. The airplane, formerly with Air Comet (APZ) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), will provide a +30% (ASK) capacity increase on a route (SFI) used to operate with a 767-200ER. (CCO) Claus Fischer said that loads on the route, launched in June, have improved ahead of what he expects to be a challenging winter season. Interline agreements with Emirates (EAD) and Lufthansa (DLH) will go into effect this month, offering easier onward connections. (SFI)'s 2x-daily, Kabul - Dubai service enjoys load factors close to 100% LF and a 3rd daily flight is expected to be added soon. Delhi will join the network in February, followed by Beijing in March or April, and an unidentified destination in Saudi Arabia soon thereafter. Fischer said that (SFI) already has secured traffic rights to both China and Saudi Arabia. Frankfurt service will increase to 4x- or 5x-weekly in the summer.
(SFI) halted domestic service in June. Safety remains an issue in the troubled country and competitors like Pamir Airways (PIR) and Kam-Air (KMF) offer fares that make profitable domestic flying impossible. "We cannot compete with a €45 fare for a single domestic flight. Our idea was to offer highly operational and safe services on domestic routes. But this is not possible with such low fares," Fischer said.
(SFI) now operates the A340, 767 and 2 737-300s. (SFI) plans to make a decision about the future of its 737s and their potential replacement in the spring. "This depends on the leasing companies. Sometimes a lessor triples the rates for an Afghanistan-registered carrier," Fischer said, highlighting the difficulties facing airlines in the country. "For example, the infrastructure at Kabul [International] Airport has to be improved urgently. Fuel is 2x- as expensive as in Dubai and we have to deal with a curfew between 21:00 and 06:00." On the bright side, (SFI) expects its passenger traffic in 2010 to nearly double to 750,000 from the 400,000 it will carry this year.
SEE ATTACHED "AIRWAYS" ARTICLE - - "SFI-2009-12-A/B/C/D."
January 2010: Safi Airways (SFI) will code share with Qatar Airways (QTA) Kabul - Doha next month operating a 737-300.
March 2010: Safi Airways (SFI) is depending on increasing its international presence and is working on a number of initiatives, both inside the company and at Kabul International airport (KBL), in an effort to solidify its position.
Safi (SFI) no longer operates domestically and now serves Frankfurt (FRA), Kuwait City, Doha (DOH), and Dubai from the Afghan capital. (CCO) Claus Fischer recently said that (SFI) hopes to implement a code share with Qatar Airways (QTA) on the (KBL) - (DOH) route soon and intends to receive its (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification this year. "Then we will be a member of the top class of airlines, and we can concentrate once again on the most important thing, operating airplanes," he said.
Running an airline to modern standards in Afghanistan is extremely complicated, Fischer explained. The next step is ending the chaos at its home airport, which he said is preventing Safi (SFI) from taking advantage of the lack of competition on international routes. Operating hours at (KBL) currently are 6 am - 9 pm, and he said (SFI) is "working hard" with Afghan authorities to extend them by an hour on either side.
But that is only 1 of several changes required. Charter carriers clog the taxiways and parking areas at the airport, Fischer said, and the lack of defined takeoff and landing slots contributes to an operation so inefficient that there often are only 6 airplane movements per hour.
Safi (SFI) is planning for growth anyway and is searching for 2 A320s and an A340 on the secondary market as it looks to replace 2 737-300s formerly operated by Air China (BEJ). It already flies 1 A340-300 and 1 767-200. It will increase its 3x-weekly, (FRA) service to 5x-weekly and plans to launch 2x-/3x-weekly Delhi flights in May. Service to Beijing and Moscow should follow.
"We know we will not be able to offer a perfect product within the next 6 months. But we are operating safely, on time and with good on board service," Fischer said, adding that 8 to 10 airplanes is the upper limit for the airline's fleet.
May 2010: Safi Airways (SFI) said it will acquire 2 A320s this summer as part of a fleet renewal plan, a move it said demonstrates it is a "young airline with aspirations." The 1st airplane scheduled to be delivered next month, will be deployed on its Dubai - Kabul route. (SFI) is currently in the selection process for dry-leasing 1 of the A320s. Both airplanes will feature livery with (SFI)'s new corporate branding, unveiled at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. "We have worked hard to achieve the turnaround for (SFI) during 2009 and we achieved our goal," Chairman Rahim Safi said.
Following "several months" of making a "small operational profit," (SFI) said it "saw a need" to deploy the newer airplanes. It currently flies 2 737-300s, 1 A340-300 and 1 767-200. (SFI) said it plans a comprehensive overhaul program for its existing 737s. "Once completed, these [737s] will continue to operate for (SFI) on charter and wet-lease (ACMI) sales and to cover peak periods," Executive Vice Chairman Werner Borchert said. "These airplanes will be part of the (SFI) fleet for the foreseeable future." The airline is in preparations for a complete (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), slated for completion this fall, with a "clear goal" for code sharing, it said.
September 2010: Safi Airways (SFI) (CCO) Claus Fischer said that (SFI) is undergoing a restructuring plan to be able to begin a moderate international expansion in early 2011. “We are currently in a consolidation process [and have] stopped services from Kabul (KBL) to Kuwait,” said Fischer, who noted the carrier’s single 767-200ER will be available for (ACMI) wet leases. Its 2 737-300s are for sale, leaving (SFI) with 1 A320 and 1 A340-300.
Fischer said its A320 operates 2x-daily service to Dubai (DXB) with excellent load factors and the A340-300 [operates] 5x-weekly flights to Frankfurt (FRA), with 3x-weekly flights in the winter. The (KBL) - (FRA) route produced a 78% LF load factor during this summer’s peak period. “We [will] evaluate new international services from Kabul to Delhi, Beijing, and Istanbul for early 2011 if our restructuring is successful,” Fischer said, adding that (SFI) expects a total of around 250,000 passengers this year.
“We are working hard to receive the (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) safety certification from (IATA) by the end of this year, which would help us to get more international cooperation [agreements].”
October 2010: Safi Airways (SFI) 767-J6ER new "toned down" livery seen at Frankfurt - - SEE PHOTO - - "SFI-2010-10-767-2J6ER-NEW LIVERY."
December 2010: Afghan carrier Safi Airways (SFI) said it will suspend its Frankfurt - Kabul route, effective January 10, owing to the recently announced ban on the entry of Afghan-registered airplanes into European Union (EU) airspace. (SFI) said the situation is “particularly frustrating for (SFI) because the ban has been evoked as a result of the Afghan Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation. It is totally outside the control of the airline, which is fully (ICAO) compliant.”
To accommodate passengers over the busy holiday period, Safi (SFI) said it will either wet lease an (EU)-registered airplane to provide direct flights or reroute booked passengers via Dubai. (SFI) Executive Director Hamid Safi said (SFI) is “evaluating all the options available to us, including applying for a new Air Operator Certificate (AOC) in a different country.” He said (SFI) is working to find a more permanent solution to the problem.
SEE ATTACHED "AIRLINER WORLD" ARTICLE - - "SFI-2011-01-BAN."
Safi Airways (SFI), based in Kabul, Afghanistan, hires USA and European pilots (FC).
January 2011: Safi Airways (SFI) announced the appointment of a new senior management team. Led by Executive Director, Hamid Safi, the appointments include: (COO) Michael McTighe from the UK; (CFO) John Roijen from the Netherlands; and Deputy (COO) Jordanian, Mohammad Al-Hayek. In his 1st statement, McTighe said: “The European Union (EU)’s ban on Afghanistan airlines flying to Europe has required that we effectively need to relaunch the airline. We face a couple of months of turbulence before we emerge into clear air but we are very confident that our new strategic plan will soon bear fruit.”
February 2011: Safi Airways (SFI) is not currently recruiting pilots (FC).
May 2011: Safi Airways (SFI) will launch 4x-weekly, Delhi - Kabul A320-200 service on June 16.
June 2011: Safi Airways (SFI) appointed Zaidan Khalifat as Director Quality & Safety, and Miguel Serra as Director Ground Operations & Operations Control Center (OCC).
October 2011: A320-214 (994, YA-TTD), (ILF) leased, ex-(B-2416).
December 2011: Safi Airways (SFI) will launch 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi - Kabul Airbus A320 service on January 5.
January 2012: Safi Airways (SFI) is hiring A320/767 Flight Engineers based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Additional details and minimum qualifications can be found on the company web site. (SFI) is accepting resumes through firstname.lastname@example.org
SEE ATTACHED "AIRWAYS" ARTICLE - - "SFI-2012-01 - STATUS."
February 2012: Safi Airways (SFI) launched its 3rd route on February 22 when it began operating flights from its Kabul (KBL) base to the Abu Dhabi, the Emirati country capital. Complementing its 2x-daily operation to Dubai, (SFI) now flies 4x-weekly to Abu Dhabi (AUH). Flights are operated with 144-seat A320 airplanes. (SFI)'s only other (3rd) destination is Delhi. “This new air link will contribute to the continued development of (SFI),” said Michael McTighe (COO) of (SFI).
(SFI) will increase 2x-daily, Kabul - Dubai service to 22x-weekly on March 28.
April 2012: Gulf Air (GUL) launched a code share with Safi Airways (SFI) on the 3x-weekly Kabul - Manama route on April 23.
June 2012: Safi Airways (SFI) has announced plans to launch its 1st domestic services from Kabul Khwaja Rawash International (KBL) to Herat (HEA) and Kandahar International (KDH) later this month. It plans to serve Herat daily and Kandahar 3x-weekly using its A320-200s. The flights to Herat compete with (KAM) Air.
July 2013: A319-112 (1016, YA-TTE), (ILF) leased.
August 2013: According to FAPA.aero, Safi Airways (SFI) is currently accepting flight crew (FC) applications.
October 2013: Safi Airways (SFI) offers 2x-daily, Kabul - Dubai and 4x-weekly Kabul - New Delhi A319 service.
Safi Airways (SFI), the self-styled ‘International Airline of Afghanistan’ has started operating from its base in Kabul (KBL) to Islamabad (ISB) in Pakistan. The service, which launched on October 1st, will fly 3x-weekly using 1 of (SFI)’s 120-seat A319s. Competition on the route comes from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) who operate the route with 5x-weekly flights. (SFI)’ network now comprises a total of 4 routes; Delhi (India), Dubai (UAE), Herat (Afghanistan) and now, Islamabad.
November 2013: Safi Airways (SFI) has introduced domestic flights from its base at Kabul (KBL) to Mazar-I-Sharif (MZR) on November 16th. The 300 km route will be flown 3x-weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) using (SFI)’s A319s. Competition on the route is provided by Ariana Afghan Airlines (AFG) with 2x-weekly flights.
November 2014: Safi Airways (SFN), the privately owned international airline of Afghanistan, added its 3rd domestic destination from its Kabul (KBL) base on October 29th, when it commenced 3x-weekly operations (Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays) to Kandahar (KDH). The 462 km sector, which is already served by Afghan Jet International (daily), Kam Air (daily), Ariana Afghan Airlines (AFG) (4x-weekly), will be operated utilizing a mixed fleet of Safi Airways (SFI)’s 120-seat A319s and 144-seat A320s. (SFN) also flies to Mazar-e-Sharif (5x-weekly) and Herat (daily) in Afghanistan, while internationally, it operates to Dubai, Jeddah, Delhi, and Islamabad. Commenting on the route launch, Farid Nazari, Country Manager Afghanistan, Safi Airways (SFN), said: “We are delighted that we have been able to cater to our customers’ needs by starting direct flights between Kabul and Kandahar. The flights between Kabul and Kandahar will be operated by Airbus airplanes with a 2 cabin configuration, business (C) and economy (Y) class, providing comfort and style with our new in-flight services. From December 2014, we hope to extend our services from Kandahar to Dubai.”
September 2015: Air France Industries (AFI) (KLM) (E&M) has been selected by Safi Airways (SFI) for component support on 3 Airbus A320-family aircraft. The agreement includes repairs and access to a spares pool.
December 2016: "Accident: Safi 737-400 (JY-JAQ) at Kabul - Hard Landing Causes Right Main Gear Collapse" by Simon Hradecky, "The Aviation Herald" December 10, 2016.
A Safi Airways (SFI) Boeing 737-400 (JY-JAQ) performing flight 4Q502 from Herat to Kabul (Afghanistan) with 155 people on board, landed on Kabul's runway 11 at 12:24 pm but touched down hard causing the right main gear to collapse. The airplane came to a stop on the runway resting on right engine and left main gear, with nose gear and tail off the ground. The airplane was evacuated via slides. No injuries occurred but the 737-400 received substantial damage.
The runway and aerodrome were closed. (SFI) reported the airplane made a hard landing at Kabul and suffered a burst tyre. All 155 people on board were evacuated safely. Media in Afghanistan reported the airplane performed an emergency landing and flight crew (FC) had reported technical problems.
February 2017: A320-231 (424, ER-AXU), ex-(RP-C5323) Terra Avia operations.
Note: SAFI Airways (SFI) is listed on the latest (EU) blacklist released 03.04.2012 of airlines whose operations are subject to a ban within the (EU)*. *Airlines listed in Annex A could be permitted to exercise traffic rights by using wet-leased airplanes of an air carrier which is not subject to an operating ban, provided that the relevant safety standards are complied with.
Click below for photos:
SFI-767-2J6ER - 2013-07
0 737-322 (CFM56-3C1) (1862-24662, /90 JY-JAD), EX-(UAL), (TCI) LSD 2005-07. (JOR) WET-LSD 2008-10. 148Y.
2 737-3J6 (CFM56-3B1) (1224-23302, /86 YA-SFL "CITY OF HERAT;" 1237-23303, /86 YA-HSB "CITY OF MAZAR" - - SEE PHOTO - - "SFI-737-3J6-2009-01" AND "SFI-737-3J6-2009-11"), EX-(BEJ). 8C, 120Y.
1 737-400 (CFM56-3C-1) (JY-JAQ - SEE ACCDT REPORT 2016-12).
1 747-200 (SEE ATTACHED - - "SFI-FC-AD").
1 757-2K2 (RB211-535E4) (717-26330, /96 YA-AQT), EX-(EI-EXX) 2012-10. WITH WINGLETS. 219Y.
1 767-2J6ER (JT9D-7R4E4) (156-23745, /87 YA-AQS "CITY OF KABUL" - SEE PHOTO - - "SFI-767-2J6ER - 2013-07"), EX-(BEJ), EX-(B-2554). ETOPS EQ'PD. 18C, 196Y.
0 767-3S1ER (CF6-80C2B6F) (384-25221, /90 CS-TQI), LUZAIR (LUZ) WET-LSD 2009-09. RTND. 24C; 220Y.
1 MD-82 (JT8D-217) (1276-49364, /86 UR-WRB), BRAVO AIRWAYS LSD 2012-10. 165Y.
1 A319-112 (1018, YA-TTE "CITY OF HERAT"), EX-(EI-FBQ), (ILF) LSD 2013-07.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (0671, /97 YA-TTC), (ILF) LSD. EX-(9A-CTM). 12C, 132Y.
1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4) (0994, /99 YA-TTD), (ILF) LSD 2011-10, EX-(B-2416). 12C, 132Y.
1 A320-231 (424, ER-AXU), EX-(RP-C5323) TERRA AVIA OPERATIONS 2017-02.
0 A340-311 (CFM56-5C2) (15, YA-TTB - SEE PHOTO - "SFI-A340-311"), EX-(APZ)/(VAA), 285 PAX.
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ABDUL RAHIM SAFI, CHAIRMAN & OWNER.
HAMID SAFI, EXECUTIVE MANAGING DIRECTOR (2010-11).
MICHAEL MCTIGHE, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO) (2011-01).
JOHN ROIJEN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO) (2011-01).
WERNER BORCHERT, EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN & HEAD FLIGHT OPERATIONS, EX-(LTU)/(EHD)/(JPL).
GHULAM HAZRAT SAFI, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.
TILMANN GABRIEL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO), EX-(DLH).
MOHAMMAD AL-HAYEK, DEPUTY (COO) (2011-01).
CLAUS FISCHER, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER (CCO).
ZAIDAN KHALIFAT, DIRECTOR QUALITY & SAFETY (2011-06).
MIGUEL SERRA, DIRECTOR GROUND OPERATIONS & OPERAT6IONS CONTROL CENTER (OCC) (2011-06).
FARID NAZARI, COUNTRY MANAGER AFGHANISTAN.