Ariana Afghan Airlines

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Ariana Afghan Airlines
هواپیمایی آریانا
د آريانا افغان هوايي شرکت
Ariana Afghan Airlines logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FG AFG ARIANA
Founded27 January 1955 (1955-01-27)
HubsKabul International Airport
Secondary hubsKandahar International Airport
Frequent-flyer programReward Club[1]
Fleet size5
Destinations11
Parent companyPashtany Bank
HeadquartersKabul, Afghanistan
Key people
  • Alem Shah Ibrahimi (President)[2]
  • Saleem Rahimi (Chief Commercial Officer)[2]
Websitewww.flyariana.com

Ariana Afghan Airlines Co. Ltd. (Pashto: د آريانا افغان هوايي شرکت; Dari: هواپیمایی آریانا), also known simply as Ariana, is the flag carrier and largest airline of Afghanistan.[3][4] Founded in 1955, Ariana is the oldest airline in the country and is state owned.[5][6] The company has its main base at Hamid Karzai International Airport, from which it operates domestic flights and international connections to destinations in China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.[7] The carrier is headquartered in Shāre Naw district, Kabul.[8][9] Ariana Afghan Airlines has been on the list of air carriers banned in the European Union since October 2006 (2006-10).

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Postage stamp of Afghanistan from 1965 commemorating the 10th anniversary of Ariana.

The airline was set up on 27 January 1955.[10] It was established as Aryana Airlines with the assistance of Indamer Co. Ltd., which initially held a 49% interest, and the government of Afghanistan owned the balance.[11] At the beginning, services were operated to Bahrain, India, Iran, and Lebanon, with a fleet of three Douglas DC-3s.[11] In 1957, Pan American World Airways became the minor shareholder of the airline when it took over the 49% interest from Indamer.[12] Domestic scheduled services started the same year.[12] By April 1960 (1960-04), a fleet of three DC-3s was being used for linking Kabul with Amritsar, Delhi, Jeddah, and Karachi, as well as with some points within Afghanistan, while a single DC-4 operated the Kabul–Kandahar–TehranDamascusBeirutAnkaraPragueFrankfurt service, so-called "Marco Polo" route.[12] In the early 1960s, US$1,100,000 (equivalent to $10,000,000 in 2020) from US aid to Afghanistan was used to capitalise the company.[13]

By March 1970 (1970-03), the airline had 650 employees. At this time, the fleet comprised one Boeing 727-100C, one CV-440, one DC-3 and two Douglas DC-6s that worked on routes serving the Middle East, India, Pakistan, the USSR, and Istanbul, Frankfurt, and London.[14] Domestic services were then operated by Bakhtar Alwatana, which was established by the government in 1967 for this purpose.[15]

An Ariana Afghan Airlines DC-10-30 is seen here on approach to London Heathrow Airport in 1980. Throughout its history, the airline operated a single aircraft of the type that was sold in the mid-1980s, following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.[16]

The carrier's first widebody aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, entered the fleet in early October 1979 (1979-10).[17] By March 1985 (1985-03), the aircraft fleet consisted of the DC-10 and two Boeing 727-100Cs.[18] In the mid-1980s, during the Soviet–Afghan War, the carrier was forced to sell the DC-10 to British Caledonian, as the Soviets wanted the carrier to fly the Tupolev Tu-154 as a replacement.[16] In October 1985 (1985-10), Ariana was taken over by Bakhtar Afghan Airlines, which became the country's new national airline.[15][19] In 1986, Bakhtar ordered two Tupolev Tu-154Ms;[20] the airline took possession of these aircraft in April 1987 (1987-04).[19] In February 1988 (1988-02), Bakhtar was merged back into Ariana, thus creating an airline which could serve both short and long haul routes.[21][additional citation(s) needed]

Operational crisis[edit]

An Ariana Afghan Airlines Tupolev Tu-154M in 1992.

Following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in 1996 and the proclamation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the country 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. With no overseas assets, by 1999 Ariana's international operations consisted of flights to Dubai only;[22] also, limited cargo flights continued into China's western provinces. However, sanctions imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in November 1999 forced the airline to suspend overseas operations.[23][24] In November 2001 (2001-11), Ariana was grounded completely.[25]

According to the Los Angeles Times:[26]

With the Taliban's blessing, Bin Laden effectively had hijacked Ariana, the national civilian airline of Afghanistan. For four years, according to former U.S. aides and exiled Afghan officials, Ariana's passenger and charter flights ferried Islamic militants, arms, cash and opium through the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. Members of Bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network were provided false Ariana identification that gave them free run of airports in the Middle East.

According to people interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Viktor Bout's companies helped in running the airline.[27]

21st century[edit]

An Ariana Afghan Airlines Airbus A300B4-200 seen on approach to Dubai International Airport in 2004. With registration YA-BAD this aircraft was written off as a result of an overrun episode at Atatürk Airport in March 2007 (2007-03).[28][29]

Following the overthrow of the Taliban government during Operation Enduring Freedom, Ariana began to rebuild its operations in December 2001 (2001-12).[30][31] About a month later, the UN sanctions were finally lifted, permitting the airline to resume international routes again.[32] In 2002, the government of India gave the carrier a gift of three ex-Air India Airbus A300s.[24][33][34] Ariana's first international passenger flight since 1999 landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in January 2002 (2002-01),[35] followed by routes to Pakistan and Germany in June and October the same year, respectively.[36][37][38] In 2005, India signed an agreement on aviation cooperation with Afghanistan, with Air India training 50 officials for Ariana.[39]

All commercial flights were cancelled following the Taliban taking over the capital city of Kabul in 2021.[40] Domestic flights resumed in September.[41]

EU ban[edit]

Due to safety regulations, Ariana was mostly banned from flying into European Union airspace in March 2006 (2006-03), with the European Commission allowing the carrier to fly only a single France-registered Airbus A310 into the member states;[42][43] the ban was extended to the entire fleet in October of that year.[44] The ban was confirmed in subsequent updates of the list released in late 2009 and March 2010 (2010-03).[45][46] In November 2010 (2010-11), all Afghanistan-registered aircraft were banned from operating in the European Union.[47][48] Ariana was still included in subsequent updates of the list, released in April 2012 (2012-04),[49] December 2012 (2012-12),[50] July 2013 (2013-07),[51] December 2013 (2013-12),[52] April 2014 (2014-04),[53] December 2014 (2014-12),[54] June 2015 (2015-06),[55] December 2015 (2015-12),[56] June 2016,[57] December 2016,[58] May 2017,[59] November 2017,[60] June 2018,[61] November 2018,[62] April 2019,[63] December 2019,[64] June 2020,[65] December 2020,[66] and June 2021.[67]

Destinations[edit]

As of July 2021, Ariana Afghan Airlines serves three domestic and seven international destinations in Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, India, and China; most of the routes radiate from Kabul.[7]

Fleet[edit]

Ariana Afghan Airlines Airbus A310-300
Former Ariana Afghan Airlines Boeing 727-200 Advanced
Former Ariana Afghan Airlines Boeing 737-800

Current fleet[edit]

As of August 2019 the Ariana Afghan Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:[68]

Ariana Afghan Airlines fleet
Aircraft In fleet Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A310-300 2 18 192 210
237 237
Boeing 737-400 2 8 134 142
Boeing 737-500 1 Un­known
Total 5

Historical fleet[edit]

Ariana operated the following equipment all through its history:[69]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

According to Aviation Safety Network, as of October 2012 Ariana Afghan Airlines has written off 19 aircraft involved in 13 events, seven of them being deadly. Casualties totaled 154 deaths.[71] The following list includes occurrences that led to at least one fatality, resulted in a write-off of the aircraft involved, or both.

Date Location Aircraft Tail number Aircraft damage Fatalities Description Refs
2 November 1959  Greece Douglas C-47A YA-AAD W/O Un­known Un­known [72]
21 November 1959 Lebanon Off Beirut DC-4 YA-BAG W/O 24/27 Crashed shortly after takeoff from Beirut International Airport, during initial climbout. The aircraft was due to operate the second leg of an international scheduled Frankfurt–Beirut–TehranKandaharKabul passenger service as Flight 202. [73]
5 January 1969 United Kingdom London Boeing 727-100C YA-FAR W/O 50 Crashed on approach to London Gatwick Airport when attempting to land in dense fog as it descended below the glideslope. Forty-eight people were killed on the plane, as well as two on the ground. The aircraft was completing an international scheduled Kabul–Kandahar–Beirut–Istanbul–Frankfurt–London passenger service as Flight 701. [74]
15 January 1969 Afghanistan Kabul Douglas C-47DL YA-BAD W/O Un­known Ground collision. [75]
10 December 1988  Pakistan An-26 Un­known W/O 25/25 The aircraft was shot down by Pakistani fighters when it was flying a domestic Khost–Kabul passenger service. [76]
18 June 1989 Iran Zabol An-26 YA-BAK W/O 6/39 Crashed into a hill when attempting to land at Zabol Airport following an in-flight opening of the ramp door. The aircraft was operating a domestic scheduled Kabul–Zaranj passenger service. [77]
1 August 1992 Islamic State of Afghanistan Kabul Tu-154M YA-TAP W/O 0/0 Destroyed by a rocket while sitting at Kabul Airport. [78]
28 August 1992 Islamic State of Afghanistan Kabul An-26 YA-BAN W/O Un­known [79]
11 September 1995 Islamic State of Afghanistan Jalalabad An-26B YA-BAO W/O 3/46 The aircraft was completing a domestic scheduled Kabul–Jalalabad passenger service when it apparently ran out of fuel, crashing on approach to Jalalabad Airport. [80]
29 October 1997 Jalalabad Yak-40 YA-KAE W/O 1 Crashed on landing at Jalalabad Airport. [81]
19 March 1998 Afghanistan Charasyab Boeing 727-200 YA-FAZ W/O 45/45 Crashed in bad weather into mountainous terrain on approach to Kabul Airport. It was completing the last leg of an international non-scheduled Sharjah–Kabul–Kandahar passenger service. [82][83]
October 2001 Afghanistan Kabul An-12B YA-DAA W/O 0/0 Destroyed during a U.S. bombing raid. [84]
An-12BK YA-DAB W/O 0/0 [85]
An-24 Un­known W/O 0/0 [86]
An-24B YA-DAH W/O 0/0 [87]
An-24RV YA-DAJ W/O 0/0 [88]
Boeing 727-100C YA-FAU W/O 0/0 [89]
Boeing 727-100C YA-FAW W/O 0/0 [90]
23 March 2007 Turkey Istanbul A300B4-200 YA-BAD W/O 0 Overran the runway on landing at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. [28][29][91]
8 May 2014 Afghanistan Kabul Boeing 737-4Y0 YA-PIB W/O 0 Slid off the runway on landing at Kabul Airport. [92]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Reward Club Card". Ariana Afghan Airlines. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b "About Ariana Afghan Airlines". Ariana Afghan Airlines. Archived from the original on 8 October 2020. 
  3. ^ "EU To Impose Ban On Afghan Planes". Airwise News. 22 November 2010. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Kabul-based Safi is the country's No. 2 airline after national carrier Ariana Afghan Airlines.
  4. ^ "Piloting Afghanistan to a prosperous future". BBC News. 9 February 2008. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008.
  5. ^ "About Us". www.flyariana.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2021. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  6. ^ "What is the National Airline of Afghanistan?". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Route Map". www.flyariana.com. Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  8. ^ "Contact Us." (Archive) Ariana Afghan Airlines. Retrieved on 30 April 2013. "Ariana Afghan Airlines (Corporate Headquarters) Char-Rahi Shaheed, Shahr-e-Naw, P.O.Box # 76, Kabul, Afghanistan"
  9. ^ "Contact Us – Our Offices". Ariana Afghan Airlines. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012. "P.O. Box 76, Kabul, Afghanistan"
  10. ^ "Addendum – Ariana Afghan Airlines". Flight International: 107. 1 April 2002. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  11. ^ a b "World airline directory – Aryana Airlines Co., Ltd". Flight: 597. 3 May 1957. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014.
  12. ^ a b c "Airlines of the world – Ariana Afghan Airlines Co Ltd". Flight: 493. 8 April 1960. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Brevities". Flight: 27. 1 July 1960. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. US sources say that of about £1.7 million US aid to Afghanistan, £1.1 million went into the airline.
  14. ^ a b "World airlines 1970 – Ariana Afghan Airlines Co Ltd". Flight International. 97 (3184). 26 March 1970. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013.
  15. ^ a b "World airline directory – Bakhtar Afghan Airlines". Flight International: 54. 26 March 1988. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014.
  16. ^ a b "USSR forced Ariana DC-10 sale". Flight International: 5. 27 April 1985. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Air transport". Flight International: 1262. 20 October 1979. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Ariana Afghan Airlines took delivery of its first widebodied airliner, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, on October 5.
  18. ^ "World airline directory – Ariana Afghan Airlines". Flight International: 55. 30 March 1985. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Market place". Flight International: 5. 23 May 1987. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Afghanistan has bought two Tupolev Tu-154Ms to replace the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30s sold in the West after Soviet pressure. Bakhtar Afghan Airlines president Muhammad Fedawi and chief pilot Salaam Nadran took delivery of the aircraft in late April. Bakhtar absorbed Ariana two years ago, and is now the sole Afghan carrier.
  20. ^ "Market place". Flight International: 6. 24 May 1986. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Bakhtar Airlines, the Afghani flag carrier, has ordered two Tupolev Tu-154s. The carrier has also just taken delivery of two new Antonov An-26 aircraft which will be put into operation soon. Bakhtar currently flies two Boeing 727s, two An-26s, and two An-24s, two Yak-40s and a Twin Otter on 19 domestic and six international routes.
  21. ^ "World airline directory – Ariana Afghan Airlines". Flight International: 58. 1 April 1989. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013.
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  37. ^ "Routes". Flightglobal.com. Flight International. 24 September 2002. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2012. Ariana Afghan Airlines has resumed services between Kabul and Frankfurt, via Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and Istanbul, after a break of 20 years. It has also selected Sharjah as its hub for Middle Eastern and European operations.
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  68. ^ "Profile for: Ariana Afghan Airlines". AeroTransport Data Bank. 24 August 2012. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  69. ^ "Ariana Afghan Airlines - Fleet". Ariana Afghan Airlines - Fleet. Archived from the original on 29 July 2014.
  70. ^ "Ariana Afghan Airlines accident record". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  71. ^ Accident description for YA-AAD at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  72. ^ Accident description for YA-BAG at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  73. ^ Accident description for YA-FAR at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 3 October 2012.
  74. ^ Accident description for YA-AAB at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 10 October 2012.
  75. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 28 August 2012.
  76. ^ Accident description for YA-BAK at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 28 August 2012.
  77. ^ Accident description for YA-TAP at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 28 August 2012.
  78. ^ Accident description for YA-BAN at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 27 September 2012.
  79. ^ Accident description for YA-KAE at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 27 September 2012.
  80. ^ Accident description for YA-KAE at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 27 August 2012.
  81. ^ Accident description for YA-FAZ at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 27 August 2012.
  82. ^ "Ariana Afghan crash". Flightglobal. Flight International. 1 April 1998. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. 
  83. ^ Accident description for YA-DAA at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  84. ^ Accident description for YA-DAB at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  85. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  86. ^ Accident description for YA-DAH at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  87. ^ Accident description for YA-DAJ at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  88. ^ Accident description for YA-FAU at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  89. ^ Accident description for YA-FAW at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  90. ^ Accident description for YA-BAD at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2012.
  91. ^ Accident description for YA-PID at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 May 2014.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ariana Afghan Airlines at Wikimedia Commons