Dubai: Kabul-based Safi Airways will suspend operations from Frankfurt to the Afghan capital from January 10 as a result of the recently announced European Union ban preventing the entry of Afghan-registered aircraft into EU airspace.

"It is totally outside the control of the airline, which is fully International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) compliant and widely regarded as the best airline in Afghanistan," Safi said in a statement.

"However, to protect the travel arrangements of [our] valued customers over the busy holiday period, Safi Airways either wet leased a European registered aircraft to provide direct flights or rerouted booked passengers via Dubai, so that the inconvenience to our customers was minimised," it said.

Hamid Safi, executive director, said: "We are evaluating all the options available to us, including applying for a new AOC in a different country. As this of course takes time and we need to be fair to our customers and remove any uncertainty, so we came to the decision, albeit reluctantly, to suspend our service between Frankfurt and Kabul for the time being.

"We are working hard now to find a more permanent solution to this problem and we will keep you updated as we progress. We also wish to remind our customers that Safi Airways flies twice daily from Dubai to Kabul and return."