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East Horizon Airlines to launch air cargo services in Afghanistan

  04.04.2011    

Afghanistan's fledgling air freight carrier, East Horizon Airlines, has taken delivery of its first aircraft, after acquiring four CASA 212-100 ramp-loading cargo planes from EADS CASA, according to the Shipping Gazette. 
"The CASA 212-100 can take off from unimproved landing areas in as little as 1,500 feet. That sort of performance is essential when we are trying to serve remote cities and towns which have had little or no air cargo service previously, because they may not have a conventional airstrip," said CEO Peter Donlevy, reported Arabian Aerospace Times.
The aircraft will arrive in Afghanistan after visiting Malta and the United Arab Emirates for final inspection, maintenance and pilot training. Once in Afghanistan, the company will complete operational preparations needed to get an air operator's certificate (AOC) by the Afghan Aviation Ministry, which hopes to get in May.
Said East Horizon chairman Fawad Sultani: "We are a 100 per cent Afghan-owned cargo airline dedicated to supporting and accelerating the redevelopment of Afghanistan by moving reconstruction materials across the country more safely and quickly than is currently possible.
"As the first airline designed from the ground up to comply with the new internationally-recognised Afghanistan civil aviation regulations, East Horizon Airlines will lead the way as a new Afghan aviation industry emerges," Mr Sultani said.
The carrier is expected to move cargo from Kabul to smaller Afghan cities, which have previously had to rely on the unpredictable trucking. The airline is later expected to expand its service network to the UAE, Western China and India.


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