Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Pakistan Airspace Closure: Afghanistan Losses Reach $12m

Pakistan Airspace Closure:  Afghanistan Losses Reach $12m

KABUL - The Civil Aviation Authority on Sunday said Afghanistan so far lost $12 million after Pakistan closed its airspace but added efforts were underway to open new airspace through China to India.
Pakistan closed its airspace to all commercial flights late February 27 after tensions escalated with India. The airspace was opened to some certain flights, but it is yet to be opened for Afghan flights en route to India.
Mohammad Qasim Wafai, the Civil Aviation head, told, an event “Accountability of the Government to the Nation” here that after Pakistan shut its airspace against Afghanistan flights to India, they lost $12 billion so far.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority, in the past around 250 flights crossed Afghanistan airspace to other countries, but the number had declined to only nine.
Currently, Afghanistan flights use Iran’s airspace to reach India and ticket price to New Delhi has also doubled.
Wafai said the Civil Aviation Authority was making efforts to use China’s airspace for reaching India and it would be shorter than Iran’s route.
He said they had tried a lot to resolve the issue through a diplomatic dialogue but the Pakistan’s airspace responsibility was not in thePakistani Civil Aviation Authority thus they had not yet succeed in this regard.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) asked the Pakistani government to reopen its airspace to Afghan flights en route to India.
A day earlier, Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabani also discussed the issue with Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan Zahid Nasrullah Khan in Kabul.
As part of the Accountability of the Government before the Nation, the Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry presented its performance report to media persons.

The report said the Transport and Civil Aviation ministry earned 8.1 billion afghanis income last year from its airspace. (Pajhwok)