Kabul International Airport (IATA: KBL) in Kabul serves as the country’s primary gateway. By the end of 2008, the old, barely functional, repaired terminal was being utilized for domestic flights, while the new terminal was running in Japan and displaying international flights.
Ariana Afghan Airlines, has a modest fleet of 14 airbuses and Boeings (plus Antonovs). They have daily flights from Dubai and frequent flights from Frankfurt, Islamabad, Delhi, Istanbul, Baku, and Tehran. Ariana is especially poor at scheduling; flights may be canceled or postponed at any time.
A better alternative is the independent operator Kam Air, which operates twice daily flights from Dubai, twice weekly flights from Delhi, and weekly flights from Almaty, Istanbul, and Mashad. If you prefer the country, several flights from Dubai to Kabul stop at Herat. Pamir Airways is a new private airline that operates daily flights between Kabul and Dubai (USD330 admission, USD210 departure), with occasional stops in Herat. Safi Air also operates flights between Dubai and Kabul. You are the only airline in Afghanistan that has been certified for security. Safi is the only Afghan airline that is permitted to travel to Europe and offers direct flights to Frankfurt. The service is excellent, and the aircraft are sturdy. The personnel is kind and courteous.
Air Arabia used to fly four times a week from Sharjah, however they have since ceased operations. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flies to Kabul four times per week from Islamabad and once per week from Peshawar. Another option is to go via Iran, perhaps through Tehran or Mashad. Iran Air travels from Tehran to Kabul on a daily basis. Air India operates six flights each week from Delhi to Kabul. Turkish Airlines began flights between Kabul and Istanbul in 2011.
Flights to other cities, such as Mazar-e Sharif, may be possible if you can connect with the PACTEC charter business. There are just a few seats available.
The well-known Khyber Pass is now restricted to everyone except Afghans and Pakistanis. Some blogs and travel forums say that hiding in a car and bribing border officers works, however this is very dangerous and may result in prison time. The Taliban menace near the pass, on the other hand, is known to murder and abduct Westerners and other foreigners. We highly advise you not to cross the Khyber Pass.
The busiest border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan is located inside the Afghan Customs and Border Control Station in Torkham, Nangarhar Province.
There are many routes to Afghanistan:
- From Peshawar, Pakistan via the Khyber Pass to Jalalabad, in the east.
- From Quetta, Pakistan to Kandahar, in the south.
- From Mashad, Iran to Herat, in the west.
- From Uzbekistan to Mazar-e Sharif, in the north.
- From Tajikistan to Kunduz, in the northwest.
As of the middle of 2009, none of these routes could be deemed safe.
Buses operate between Jalalabad and Peshawar, Pakistan, on a regular basis. In addition, between Heart and Mashhad, Iran. Expect delays as the Iranian border police thoroughly inspect the Afghan buses for potential narcotics.