Afghanistan’s flag carrier, Ariana Afghan Airlines, announced that it will soon resume flights to India, China and Kuwait.
“Flights will soon start to India, where there are a lot of goods and a number of our passengers are there for treatment. Our flights to India, China and Kuwait will soon start,” TOLO News quoted airline chief Rahmatullah Agha as saying.
The airline currently flies twice a week to Doha and it remains unclear how much a ticket for the three new routes will cost.
As India is one of the largest markets for Afghan agricultural and horticultural products, the Afghanistan Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock (ACAL) says that with the start of flights between Kabul and Delhi, the country’s exports will increase.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, is also optimistic about the growth of the economy and the development of the country’s transit. “Afghanistan is now becoming a transit and economic centre, hundreds of vehicles pass through Afghanistan daily in transit,” he said.
“India’s market is a good opportunity for our agriculture sector, now here in Afghanistan it is the season of grapes, pomegranates, apricots, saffron, medicinal plants, we hope that our exports will increase to other countries through air corridors.”Mirwais Hajizada, Member, Afghanistan Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock (ACAL)
After the Taliban took over Kabul in August 2021, the flag carrier resumed domestic flights the following month.
Meanwhile, NBC News reported that the United States, in cooperation with the Qatari government, is indirectly paying Ariana Afghan Airlines to evacuate Afghan refugees from Kabul.
But the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) said that any passenger with a legal document can travel abroad, reported Tolo News.
“Flights happen based on timetables, anyone who has travel documents like a visa, passport and ticket can travel, if they are foreigners or Afghans, they can travel,” said Imamuddin Ahmadi, spokesman for the Ministry of Transport.
Ariana Afghan Airlines is the national carrier of Afghanistan. Founded in 1955, the airline was soon thereafter established as a joint venture between the Afghan Government and Pan American World Airways.
Today, it is wholly owned by the Afghan Government and has suffered heavily in recent years, with the majority of its aircraft destroyed as a result of the conflict in the region.
It operates services to several domestic destinations as well as international destinations in Europe, the CIS, the Middle East, China and India.