The civil aviation sector is central to Afghanistan's reconstruction efforts since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001. The Afghan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation is working with international partners and donors for the rehabilitation, organisation and management of Afghan airspace. Responsibility for its airspace will pass from the US-led International Security Assistance Force to the Afghan Government at the end of the country's stabilisation process. The main hub is Kabul International Airport in the country's capital.
Ariana Afghan Airlines, the government-owned-and-operated carrier, has historically had autonomy in the aviation market. The airline was completely grounded in November 2001 during the overthrow of the Taliban government by US allies in Operation Enduring Freedom. It commenced rebuilding operations soon after and flies to a number of international destinations – including Middle East and Central Asian countries, China, India and Germany – although it remains on the list of carriers banned in the European Union (as at Jul-2010). The Government has since opened up the market with Kam Air – founded in August 2003 – becoming the first commercial airline. Safi Airways, with five aircraft and a network including Frankfurt, Gulf States and India, is the second-largest carrier after Ariana.
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