Air travel costs soar in Kabul as passengers feel the pinch

Air travel costs in Kabul have experienced a significant increase, leaving passengers and tourism companies concerned. Reports from various tourism firms indicate that ticket prices on different routes have jumped from sixty to one hundred and fifty dollars.

The steepest price hikes have been observed on the Kabul-Dubai, Kabul-Jeddah, and Kabul-Tehran routes, according to the aforementioned companies.

Passengers in Kabul have voiced their discontent over the surge in ticket prices, citing the Taliban’s alleged lack of oversight in managing both domestic and international airfares.

Tourism companies have shared data revealing the escalation in ticket prices, with the Kabul-Tehran route rising from $270 to $330 and the Kabul-Dubai route climbing from $500 to $650.

Additionally, other routes such as Kabul-Istanbul and Kabul-Jeddah have witnessed price increases compared to the previous week.

Qais Sohrabi, owner of a tourism company, expressed deep concerns about the rising ticket costs and its impact on passengers.

“The surge in ticket prices has raised serious concerns among numerous passengers. Some individuals are unable to transfer their patients abroad due to this issue,” said Sohrabi.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Transportation and Aviation explained that aircraft prices are determined by considering fuel costs, financial aspects, and occasionally the lack of passenger demand.

“Planes sometimes leave the country with full passengers on board and return empty and they need to address the costs from one route,” said  Imam al-Din Ahmadi, Taliban spokesperson for the ministry.

Over the last nearly two years, the Taliban has awarded the ground services, aviation security, and airspace management contract for the country’s airfields to the United Arab Emirates’ GAC company. Reports indicate that despite efforts by Fly Dubai, Al Arabiya, and the United Arab Emirates, these companies have yet to initiate flights to Afghanistan even after more than a year.