Afghan flight ticket price to New Delhi doubles

KABUL (Pajhwok): Following Pakistan’s closure of its airspace for domestic and international flights, some Afghan airlines doubled their flight ticket price to New Delhi, officials said on Saturday.

A few days back, a Kam Air flight en-route to India from Kabul was forced to return as Pakistan had closed its airspace for domestic and international flights due to escalated tension with India.

Qasim Rahim, the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News after Pakistan closed its airspace, flights from Kabul to India, from Kabul to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and to other Arab countries used the airspace of Iran.

He said not only the Afghan airlines but airlines of other countries also used Iran’s airspace to reach India.

He said the issue caused some financial losses, but provided no figure. “Our airspace is open for all flights and facilities are practically provided in this regard as each flight pays $700 in tax.”

He said the Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority had announced reopening its airspace on Monday (March 4). The issue has led to doubling the price of ticket by Afghan airlines.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Yousuf Zaheer, Kam Air Airlines spokesman, told Pajhwok that the closure of the Pakistani airspace not only troubled Afghan airlines.

He said in the past Kabul-New Delhi flights took 1:45 hour, but through the Iran airspace they took around 5:00 hours. He said the ticket price from Kabul to New Delhi was $160, but reached to $300.

However, Mohammad Nadir Omar, chief of the state-own Ariana Airlines, said they had not changed their ticket price.

However, he said if the situation continued until Monday, they would also increase the ticket price by 150 percent.