Kuwait's $16m boost to ailing Afghan airport sector

Local carrier Ariana Airlines admitting its services were “not up to the mark”
(Photo for illustrative purpose only)
By Beatrice Thomas
Wed 06 Nov 2013 11:27 AM

Kuwait’s The National Aviation Services (NAS) has agreed to a 10-year, $16m deal to improve airport facilities in Afghanistan with Ariana Airlines admitting its services were “not up to the mark”, it was reported.

Economy Minister of Afghanistan Hadi Arghandiwal announced the deal in the capital city Kabul, saying it would be done between the NAS and the government-run Ariana Afghan Airlines.

He acknowledged that over the past 12 years, Aryana Airlines services had not been to international aviation standards and the cabinet directed the national flag-carrier to improve its services, a statement published by Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA.

NAS was described in the statement as a Kuwait-headquartered, internationally reputed aviation services provider with a regional presence and financial backing.

NAS CEO Hassan Al Houri said his company would try to share its expertise with Ariana to streamline air services in Afghanistan.

“Over the next 12 months, we will use our advanced equipment and professional staff to help Afghanistan provide better aviation services,” he said.

Ariana Airlines chief, Nasir Ahmad Hakemi, said that the $16m investment would help standardize Ariana’s services under the 10-year contract.

“Our services are currently not up to the mark, as we don’t have advanced equipment,” he said. “With this in mind, we have entered an agreement with NAS to work jointly in this area.”

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