Taliban govt warns PIA to reduce fares or face ban

Afghan govt says Pakistan International Airlines and Kam Air charging 'exorbitant fares' for Islamabad-Kabul flights


Our Correspondent October 14, 2021
Taliban acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 14, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

KABUL:

The Taliban-led Afghan government has warned the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and the Kam Air to reduce the fares of Kabul to Islamabad flights or “they would be blocked from landing in Afghanistan”.

An official notification issued on Thursday from the Afghan ministry said that it received “scores of complaint” that the PIA and the Kam Air are charging Rs200,000 and $2,700 respectively for a two-way ticket between Islamabad and Kabul.

The statement comes as the PIA on Thursday said that it was suspending flights from Kabul after what it called “heavy handed” interference by Taliban authorities, including arbitrary rule changes and intimidation of staff.

A senior official of the Afghan aviation ministry told The Express Tribune that the Taliban government took the unilateral decision after Pakistan Embassy in Kabul paid no heed to their complaints.

Also read: PIA suspends flight operations to Afghanistan

“We demand PIA, Kam airlines to restore the previous rates of the tickets or they would be banned from landing in Afghanistan,” the notification said.

The Afghan official further added that PIA was doing injustice with the Afghan people by overcharging for air tickets.

The national flag carrier is one of the few airlines operating flights to the neighbouring country.

According to media reports, the PIA is also facilitating the international community in facilitating evacuation efforts and relief goods supplies to the country.

The PIA resumed special flights to the country after the Taliban seized power in mid-August, and was a lifeline for many Afghans trying to flee the new regime and economic crisis.

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