Afghanistan's strategic position sandwiched between the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent along the ancient "Silk Route" means that it has long been fought over - despite its rugged and forbidding terrain. It is a landlocked country between 29º21'-38º30'N latitude and 60º31'-75ºE longitude, bounded by Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to the north, by the Islamic Republic of Iran on the west and by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on the south and south-east. In the extreme northeast, Afghanistan has a common border with the People's Republic of China. The climate is arid to semiarid, with cold winters and hot summers.
New Afghan carrier East Horizon Airlines is targeting an October launch.
The 100% Afghan-owned operation aims to connect all major transit points throughout Afghanistan.
Captain Jahed Azimi, Deputy Minister of the country's Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation, has been appointed CEO. He was formerly President of Ariana Afghan Airlines and domestic carrier Kam Air.
He said East Horizon Airlines, which was founded three years ago, is now ready to play its part in Afghanistan’s ambitious reconstruction program and will be linking the remotest corners of Afghanistan. "Through our hub in Kabul, we can then connect these destinations with regional and international airlines," he said.
The new airline is already staffed by a team of internationally-trained pilots and ground crew comprising Afghan nationals and a team of international specialists.
It is the first Afghan-owned airline to be certified under the new Afghan Civil Aviation Regulation, which was developed in 2010 by the Ministry of Transportation and Civil Aviation, in conjunction with the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Federal Aviation Administration.
East Horizon is currently awaiting the imminent arrival of three new aircraft (B737, Fairchild F27 and HS748) and aim to start operations by October, with a view to expanding in 2012.