International flight fares drop as airlines resume operations in Kabul

The resumption of operations by some foreign airlines has led to a slight decrease in international flight fares from Kabul.

Aviation industry sources note that while ticket prices remain higher than they were three years ago, the return of foreign carriers is expected to spur competitive pricing.

Two additional foreign airlines are slated to restart their flights to Afghanistan this month, following a suspension initiated after the collapse of the Afghan government in August 2021. The suspension had led to a significant increase in fares due to reduced competition.

Tourism operators in Kabul report a modest reduction in airfares with the resumption of these services. Currently, ticket prices for routes such as Kabul to Istanbul, Dubai, Tehran, and Islamabad have decreased by up to $30.

Qais Suhrabi, a Kabul tourism company manager, commented, “Ticket prices have dropped by $20 to $30. The increase in foreign flights will lead to more connecting options and further fare reductions.”

Fly Dubai resumed its flights to Kabul two months ago, and another UAE-based airline is expected to follow suit shortly. Air Arabia and Jazeera Airways have also announced plans to restart their Kabul services.

Despite these developments, some Kabul residents believe that ticket prices are still relatively high. Shaker, a local resident, expressed concern over the affordability of flights to Iran, particularly for those with medical needs. Nazir Ahmad, another resident, emphasized the need for more flights to accommodate people with international connections.

Currently, Kam Air, Ariana, Mahan, Taban, and Fly Dubai are operating flights to and from Kabul. The Taliban have contracted UAE’s GAC company for airport ground services, aviation security, and aircraft guidance in a bid to encourage major airlines like Emirates and Turkish Airlines to resume their Afghan operations.