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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suspended, on Thursday, its Kabul flight operations till further notice.

The decision was taken in view of changed dynamics and non-conducive conditions supporting international flight operations, PIA Spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan said.

He maintained that the decision to keep flying into Kabul even after the change in regime was taken on purely humanitarian grounds, and on strong insistence of some friendly organisations.

The PIA was operating charter flights to Kabul.

He said that the insurance premium on these flights are so high that it is simply impossible to operate scheduled flights, as it is still considered a war zone by aircraft insurance companies and lessors.

“It required a load of 300 people on a single flight to break even after paying of high insurance and operating costs. Hence any imposition to reduce the flight capacity by half or reverting back to August 15 levels is simply not possible,” he added.

“PIA at the moment is holding would re-evaluate its options till the situation on the ground improves and becomes more conducive for international operations,” the PIA spokesman concluded.

In a statement by the Afghan Transport Ministry, it was noted that ticket prices for international travel be adjusted to correspond with the conditions of a ticket before the victory of the Islamic Emirate or flights would be stopped.

It asked the passengers to report any violations of this order, which was also directed at Afghan carrier Kam Air.

Services between the two countries have been severely limited since international flights resumed last month following the departure of the US troops at the end of August.

Earlier this week, Kam Air announced it was not allowed to fly from Kabul to Islamabad by Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior over a set of new rules.

Sohrab Amini, deputy director of Kam Air had stated that the reason for the new law was not clear and only the PIA was flying between Kabul and Islamabad until further notice.

Pakistan has allowed an Afghan airline to operate its flights from Islamabad to Kabul, on September 25, 2021.

Kam Air – Afghanistan’s largest private airline – is operating three flights a week, becoming the first Afghan airline to operate outside Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

PIA

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