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Taliban government seeks to resume flights with India

Kabul’s Civil Aviation Authority has written to India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) asking for the return of flights operated by its airlines Kam Air and Ariana Afghan Airline to and from Delhi. After being contacted by The Indian Express, DGCA chief Arun Kumar confirmed receiving the letter and said the Ministry of Civil Aviation will take a call on the matter because it was a policy issue.

Following the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the Afghan airspace was declared ‘uncontrolled’ and effectively closed for civilian flights on August 16. With Qatar’s help, the Taliban government has been able to resume operations at several airports across the country, including  Kabul. Ariana Afghan Airlines already operates domestic flights, and Pakistan International Airlines operated the first international commercial flight after the takeover on September 13. Afghanistan currently operates regular international flights to Pakistan and Iran.

Afghanistan’s Acting Minister for Civil Aviation and Transport, Alhaj Hamidullah Akhundzada, wrote to Kumar on September 7: ‘The purpose of the letter is to keep the smooth movement of passengers between two countries based on the signed MoU and to commence scheduled flights of Karachi and Afghanistan Airlines. Therefore, the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority requests that you facilitate their commercial flights’.

According to him, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan provides it’s highest guarantee. In the recent past, American troops caused significant damage to the airport before their withdrawal from Kabul. In a letter to the DGCA, Akhundzada wrote that the airport was temporarily reopened with the assistance of Qatar. A NOTAM was issued in this regard on September 6.

Read more: Image of Modi on front page of ‘The New York Times’ is ‘completely fabricated’.

Various countries, including India, conducted evacuation operations at Kabul airport after the departure of US troops. India’s national carrier Air India and low-cost airline SpiceJet operated between Delhi and Kabul prior to Taliban takeover. SpiceJet had suspended it’s flights during the Covid-19 pandemic last year while Air India operated it’s last scheduled flight to Kabul on August 15. Medical tourists, students, and traders were the main passengers, while spices and dry fruits were the cargo.


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