The head of Afghanistan’s Tourism Union said five airlines have closed their doors in the past seven years after not receiving government support.
Tourism Union Calls On Govt To Support Domestic Airlines
Officials from the Afghanistan Tourism Union on Tuesday urged government to support domestic airlines and balance the number of flights into the country between domestic and foreign airlines.
According to the union, travel agents have reported a drop in domestic airline passengers.
Union officials said there is no balance between the number of flights between foreign and domestic airlines in the country and that foreign airlines have more flights into the country than domestic airlines have out of the country.
Massoud Bina, deputy head of Afghanistan’s Tourism Union said in the past seven years five airlines have closed down after not receiving enough support from government.
They said, because domestic airlines did not fly to foreign destinations, the cost of tickets on foreign airlines has been on the rise.
“The inactivity of Afghanistan’s airlines directly affects our work. Except one or two companies, the others are not operating. Government must support the domestic companies and then our work will increase,” said Massoud, one travel agent.
Meanwhile, officials from the Civil Aviation Authority said there are agreements in place that should balance the number of domestic and foreign airline flights.
“We would be happy to have more foreign flights and also have more domestic flights. We can share the agreements in which it is stated that we would have the same number of flights to any country that flies to our country,” head of the Civil Aviation Authority, Mahmood Shah Habibi said.
The Civil Aviation Authority also said if Afghans buy tickets early, they would pay less. But when they buy at the last minute, then the price is high.
Meanwhile, a number of economic analysts said poor management in the civil aviation sector is the key challenge in this regard.
“The civil aviation authority should give the domestic airlines more time to become able to compete (with foreign airlines). Otherwise, we will see airlines going bankrupt in the next few years,” economic lecturer at Kabul University, Sayed Massoud said.