The airline said conditions had worsened since the Taliban formed a new Afghan government last month and that “the PIA and its staff in Kabul were treated very harshly by the new [Taliban] commanders. The PIA said commanders had “changed rules and flight permits at the last minute or decided on a whim rather than comply with international rules.” ”
The statement also claimed that the PIA national representative was “held up by firearms for hours as he left the Pakistani embassy’s connection” due to the Taliban’s suspicion of helping and assisting “people seeking to flee Afghanistan.
The PIA also accused the Afghan Ministry of Aviation of having cut half the number of passengers from a flight this week that was already in the process of checking in. “This resulted in 176 people fleeing for their lives, being sent home by airline officials and causing nearly half a million dollars in losses to the airline due to higher insurance costs,” the airline said.
PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan told CNN on Thursday that the decision to resume flights to Kabul “was taken on purely humanitarian grounds and on strong insistence from friendly organizations.”
Khan said the insurance premium on these flights is “so high” that it is “simply impossible to operate scheduled flights to Kabul as it is still considered a war zone by airline insurance companies.”
Khan also said that “it is very frustrating that the rules keep changing for every flight and the authorities always confuse charter permits with route permits.”
Khan said the PIA would reconsider its decision to suspend flights “if the situation on the ground improves and [becomes] more conducive to international operations. “
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