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Afghanistan Loses $8m After Pakistan’s Airspace Closure

KABUL – The Civil Aviation Authority estimates that the closure of Pakistan’s airspace to commercial flights cost Afghanistan at least $8 million in more than a month.
Pakistan closed its airspace to all commercial flights late in February after escalating tensions with India. It was opened to certain flights, but it is yet to be opened for Afghan flights on route to India.
The Afghan airlines are using Iran’s route for Kabul-New Delhi flights but it has increased the costs as well as the time by two times. The prices, airlines say, have gone up to almost $600 from around $350.
But despite the increase in the prices, the airlines said they have failed to prevent losses in revenues.
The Civil Aviation Authority’s Chairman Mohammad Qasim Wafaeezada, said there were six air routes through Pakistan’s airspace between Kabul and New Delhi.
More than 250 flights crossed Afghanistan’s airspace towards Pakistan on a daily basis when the airspace was opened but now the number has reduced to nine.
“We hope this issue is resolved as soon as possible; otherwise, we will lose a big amount of revenue we get from transit flights,” he said.
Airlines and passengers called on the National Unity Government (NUG) to engage in talks with the Pakistani officials and resolve the issue in line with international laws and regulations.
(Sahar News)

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