PIA suspends Kabul flights over ‘unprofessional’ Taliban
KARACHI, Oct 14: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said on Thursday it had suspended flights to Kabul over the "unprofessional attitude" of Taliban authorities.
PIA resumed special flights to the country after the Taliban seized power in mid-August, and was a lifeline for many Afghans trying to flee the new regime and economic crisis.
"Our flights frequently faced undue delays because of the unprofessional attitude of the Kabul aviation authorities," Abdullah Hafeez Khan, the PIA spokesman told AFP. The route will remain suspended until "the situation becomes conducive," he added.
A source at the airline told AFP Taliban officials were often "derogatory" and on one occasion "physically manhandled" a staff member.
PIA had faced criticism for charging more than $1,200 for a one-way, 40-minute flight from Kabul to Islamabad.
The special flights have been used mostly by NGOs and charities, some of which have helped at-risk Afghans to flee, but have been irregular and tickets difficult to purchase for ordinary passengers. But the airline said the flight operation was "not very lucrative financially" and it was only operating flights on "humanitarian grounds". -AFP