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People Complain About Hike of Airlines Ticket Prices

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Saturday September 16, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The price of Airlines tickets have recently doubled that caused concern of passengers.
Following these concern and complaints, deputy chief of civil aviation independent department for planning and policy Dr. Qasem Wafayee said, “According to laws Civil Aviation Independent Department (CAID) as the controller of Afghanistan aviation system has certain responsibilities to defend rights of customers and beneficiaries of supply of civil aviation service. CAID has already arranged quarterly ticket prices to domestic airlines and these airlines have to observe it in their activities and flights.
Dr. Qasem Wafayee went on to say, “We are in close competition with foreign and regional airlines as they have high capability but we lack it. We managed to arrange minimal frequency or number of flights according to a mutual agreement and both sides have to share equal part either in domestic or foreign flights. According to Dr. Wafayee, in the past three domestic airlines including Ariana Afghan Airlines (AAA) Safi and Kam Air supplied services in Afghanistan. They decided the price of tickets and affected the domestic markets. But recently due to sudden stop of Safi Airway, market was strongly affected and the way was opened to other airlines. Two factor were involved, first stoppage of Safi Airways and second, involvement of AAA and Kam Air in transportation of pilgrimage that both factors affected the market.
He added, CAID has recently received complaints on prices of tickets of India-Dubai flights and we have taken certain steps in this direction for example on dumping or overcharging. But converting the prices in market takes place based on competitions and supply and demand. Therefore, we cannot expect direct interference and a controlled bazaar under a free market system and we have minimal involvement in planning and interference in arranging of prices. One of the CAID steps in this connection is compensation of Safi Airlines shortage and stoppage was this that we asked Kam Air to designate their flights in two weeks. With implementation of this step it would immediately impact the market prices of other airlines. Wafayee clarified that CAID has seriously instructed Turkish Airlines and Spice Jet airlines to adopt particular measures and prevent overcharging. He added that before the prices were high but they reduced visibly recently. We plan to support domestic airlines that would leave good impact in reducing of tickets prices.
According to information of CAID, in the past the Safi Airline ticket of Kabul-Dubai was $90 but at the moment the government cannot decrease it to $90. CAID asked the people and customers and passengers to make preplanning for purchase of tickets but unfortunately in Afghanistan people don’t used to make plan for ticket purchasing and purchase tickets two or three days prior to their departure that causes hike of tickets prices. In this case CAID cannot impose the airlines to keep their tickets prices constant.
Domestic airlines every flight to provinces and there are airports in 28 provinces plus four international airports of Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif and Kabul. Flights to Badakhshan, Kunduz, Farah and Bamyan will be started soon and these airfields that have not been asphalted, will be constructed. CAID has requested domestic private airlines to purchase small planes that would settle our people problems. Civil Aviation Independent Department has been endeavoring to withdraw AAA from EU black list because AAA has met EU conditions to an extent and would be liable to be withdrawn from EU black list as Kam Air gained two certificate and managed to be withdrawn from black list. In the last four decades CAID has sustained heavy damaged but we started its rebuilding from zero and despite of existing challenges, we gained important achievement.
One of these achievements in the last few years, it was taking over of Afghanistan air space because in the last few years, it was controlled by NATO forces. We managed to increase our revenues. In 2014, just shortly prior to transferring of airspace, airlines started to change their flights itinerary and believed that Afghanistan would not be able to keep that open but not only it was kept open for international flights, the number of flights was increased too. It has been said that every year, over 2000 flights take place through our airspace and before $400 was charged for each flight and later it was increased to US$500 per flight. In August 2017 it was increased to US$700 per flight that considerably increases government revenues. Last year, CAID make a revenue of over Afs 4.5 billion to the government.
Shukria Kohistani
 

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