As a general rule, airline in-flight magazines are location positive, focusing predominantly on the glitz and the glamour of destinations they fly into.
It’s a rule that’s all but ignored by the in-flight magazine put out by Safi Airways.
Based out of Kabul, this Afghani airline is not out to impress its passengers, most of whom are aid workers, security consultants, journalists, defense contractors, and diplomats.
Instead of providing the standard list driven articles showcasing a city’s best eats, sleeps, and attractions, the Safi Airways in-flight magazine’s articles offer readers grim realism, with real life stories focusing on uniqueness of a country that has long been at war.
On one page you may find an ad for mine-resistant sport-utility vehicles; on another, photos of bullet-riddled tourist sites.
Featured stories in past editions include ‘Live Entertainment in Kabul: Dog Fighting’ (rest assured, the fight is not to the death, only until one has proven dominance over the other) and ‘Heroin Hell Kabul and the Way Out’ (a photo essay about the Wadan Drug Treatment Center).
Even luxury hotels aren’t immune, as this fascinating review reveals “The rooms are individually air-conditioned, accessorized with amenities you will find in four-star hotels abroad, sheets are clean, view from the room is nice, and – after the suicide bombing that took place – security measures have been implemented.”
Anyone flying out to Kabul on Safi Airways will find a copy of their latest in-flight magazine in the seat pocket.
The rest of us less adventurous souls can find the Safi Airline In-flight Magazine online.