PIA 'Suspends Afghan Operations Citing Taliban Interference, Security Concerns'
16:45 GMT 14.10.2021 (Updated: 18:02 GMT 08.12.2022)
Pakistan International Airlines resumed chartered flights on 13 September, almost a month after the Taliban gained control over Afghanistan, including its capital Kabul.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced that it has suspended "on an immediate basis" flights to Afghanistan because of security concerns and unworkable conditions imposed by the Taliban*, media reported on Thursday.
"We are suspending our flight operations to Kabul from today because of the heavy-handedness of the authorities," said a PIA spokesman, CNN reported.
The route will remain suspended until "the situation becomes conducive to being resumed", the spokesman said.
PIA also claimed their representative was "held up at gunpoint for hours when he left the Pakistan embassy compound" on "suspicion of aiding and abetting" people hoping to flee Afghanistan.
Earlier on Thursday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid asked PIA in a statement had asked the PIA and Kam Air (the largest private Afghan airline) to reduce the inflated airfare for the Kabul-Islamabad route. Both airlines ratcheted up their fare when they resumed flights after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan
According to reports, before 15 August, PIA used to charge between $120 and $150 per person for a flight to Kabul
, but now a ticket will set a traveller back as much as $2,500.
Neither airline has resumed their commercial flights and are only operating chartered flights with high fares.
Afghanistan's Kam Air claimed
that its service has been suspended since 9 October after Pakistan denied permission to it.
Pakistan has now made it mandatory for airlines to provide details of all passengers days before their departure from Kabul.