PIA blames high insurance cost to be the reason behind suspension of flights in Kabul. This is because insurance and airline companies are still considering Afghanistan a warzone.
KARACHI, PAKISTAN – The Pakistan International Airlines on Thursday announced the suspension of flight operations to Kabul, Afghanistan. PIA which was previously operating charter flights, said that decision to fly into Kabul after Taliban takeover was purely for humanitarian reasons.
PIA spokesman, Abdullah Hafeez Khan after the announcement, went onto state reasons for the suspension of flights to Kabul. He said that with insurance and airline companies considering Afghanistan a warzone, insurance premium on these flights are significantly high.
PIA, because of the high insurance premium is not able to cover costs for the flight to Kabul. “It required a load of 300 people on a single flight to break even after paying off 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”, said the PIA spokesman.
This decision to suspend flight operations, however is not permanent. PIA spokesman regarding this said, “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”.
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The only Afghan airline to operate outside Afghanistan
International flights taking off from Afghanistan are limited. Flights to Afghanistan from Pakistan just continued after the US troops left Afghanistan. With PIA now suspending flights to Kabul, largest Afghan airline ‘Kam Air’ is the only airline taking international flights from Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. Pakistan just on September 25 allowed Kam Air for flights between Kabul and Islamabad.
Kam Air in recent times have also been suffering since, the Afghanistan Transport Ministry required all airlines to bring air fare back to the prices it was before the Taliban takeover.