Over ‘unprofessional’ Taliban, Pakistan’s PIA suspends Kabul flights.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced on Thursday that it has halted flights to Kabul due to Taliban authorities’ “unprofessional attitude.”
After the Taliban seized power in mid-August, PIA started special flights to the nation, providing a lifeline for many Afghans fleeing the new rule and economic crisis.
“Our flights were routinely delayed owing to the unprofessional attitude of the Kabul aviation authority,” PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan told AFP.
He stated that the route will be discontinued until “the situation improves.”
Taliban officials were frequently “derogatory,” according to an airline source, and on one instance “physically manhandled” a crew member.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was chastised for charging more than $1,200 for a one-way, 40-minute travel from Kabul to Islamabad.
The special flights have primarily been utilized by NGOs and charities, some of which have assisted at-risk Afghans in fleeing, but they have been irregular, and tickets for ordinary passengers have been difficult to obtain.
However, the airline said that the flight operation was “not very profitable financially” and that it was only flying for “humanitarian reasons.”
“We would pay a premium of over $400,000, which would only be conceivable if 300 people were available,” Khan remarked.
Prior to the Taliban’s control, the price was around $150.
The Taliban had previously threatened to cancel half of the airline’s flights unless the ticket price was reduced.
However, a single ticket on Afghanistan’s own Kam Air can cost up to $1,600.
The chaotic evacuation of more than 120,000 civilians, which ended on August 30 with the exit of the last US soldiers, severely destroyed facilities at Kabul airport.
Pakistan was a key supporter of the Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, and the US has long accused Pakistan’s intelligence agencies of fueling Islamist rebels.
The government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the international community to engage with the Taliban and provide economic assistance to the aid-dependent country, which has seen financing from Western donors suspended since the takeover.
Pakistan, on the other hand, has refrained from recognizing the Taliban government, a move that Western governments reject.
Last Monday, the Taliban blocked one of its border crossings with Pakistan, claiming that Pakistani border agents were mistreating Afghan citizens.