Pakistan Airlines stops flights to Kabul citing “toughness” from the Taliban

Pakistan International Airlines on Thursday halted flights to Kabul after what they called “harshness” among Taliban authorities, Reuters reports.

Drive the news: The suspension comes after the Taliban ordered the PIA to lower fares and warned that the company’s Afghan operations could be blocked if it refused to do so, according to Reuters.

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  • “We are suspending our flight operations to Kabul from today due to the harsh hand of the authorities,” a spokesman for PIA, the only international company that regularly operates out of Kabul, said according to Reuters.

The big picture: As the number of flights to Afghanistan is limited, tickets for flights to the Pakistani capital Islamabad have been sold for up to $ 2,500 compared to $ 120- $ 150 before the takeover of the Taliban, Reuters reports.

  • The Afghan Ministry of Transport previously said that prices from Kabul to Islamabad should be “adjusted to match the conditions of a ticket before the victory of the Islamic Emirates” or the flights would be stopped, reports Reuters.

PIA, meanwhile, said it continued to operate chartered flights to Kabul for “humanitarian reasons” and faced insurance premiums of as much as $ 400,000 per year. flight per Reuters.

  • “The insurance premiums on these flights are so high that it is simply impossible to operate scheduled flights to Kabul as it is still considered a war zone by airline insurers and lenders,” the company said in a statement according to Reuters.

  • The PIA also said its staff in Kabul had been subjected to last-minute changes in rules and “highly intimidating behavior” by Taliban authorities.

Go deeper: The Taliban says the United States will provide humanitarian aid but withhold recognition

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