Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Thursday suspended flights to the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, citing excessive interference from the Taliban and a flurry of arbitrary rules. “We are suspending our flight operations to Kabul from today due to the strictness of the authorities,” a PIA spokesperson was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The move comes after the Taliban government ordered the airline, the only international company that operates regularly from Kabul, to cut ticket prices before August 15.
The Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACA) has threatened to halt flights between Kabul and Islamabad even if the airlines does not cut ticket prices. Most of these prices are much higher than the level of the Afghan people.
Most international airlines no longer fly to Afghanistan, according to travel agents in Kabul, with flights to the Pakistani capital Islamabad selling up to $2,500 on PIA, compared to only $120 to $150 earlier.
The Afghan Ministry of Transport said in a statement that prices on this route “should be adjusted to the ticket conditions prior to the victory of the Islamic Emirate” or flights would be suspended. It urged passengers and others to report any violations.
Flights between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been severely limited since the Kabul airport reopened last month in the wake of more than 100,000 Western and vulnerable Afghans leaving the country following a Taliban victory.
The PIA said that since the new Taliban government was formed, its employees in Kabul have faced last-minute changes in regulation and flight permissions and “extremely intimidating behavior” from Taliban commanders.
It said that his country’s representative was kept at gunpoint for hours and was freed only after the intervention of the Pakistan embassy in Kabul.
Facebook us for social media updates (https://www.facebook.com/moneycontrolhindi/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/MoneycontrolH) to follow.