• Turkish Airlines Boosts Air Silk Road Connectivity with Afghanistan
  • Currently, Afghanistan has currently 27 active airports but only five airports have services of international flights.

By: Muhammad Arif

Islamabad: Türkiye’s flag carrier,Turkish Airlines, has now started flights again to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, as of 21 May 2024.

Turkish Airlines Boosts Air Silk Road Connectivity with Afghanistan, May 24, 2024, NSN Asia
Turkish Airlines Boosts Air Silk Road Connectivity with Afghanistan, May 24, 2024, NSN Asia

The resumption of flight operations in Kabul boots Air Silk Road connectivity with Afghanistan, a region facing isolation and connectivity disruption since 2021.

The airline, having the title of “the airline that flies to more countries than any other in the world” with 346 destinations in 130 countries over 6 continents, is scheduled to operate four flights a week between Kabul and Istanbul: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The resumption of flights by this airline will enhance commercial relations and the tourism industry between the two countries, said the Cenk Ünal, the ambassador of Türkiye to Kabul while inaugurating the flight resumption.

“The international Turkish Airlines, which is resuming its flights to Kabul, not only strengthens the relations between the two countries but also develops commercial, tourism, and cultural relations,” he added said.

in his response, Mahmut Yayla, Turkish Airlines’ director of sales and marketing for the second region, said: “With great speed and a fleet of 454 modern aircraft, we connect 348 destinations in 130 countries across four continents, and through these flights, we also connect Kabul to the world.”

On the resumption of flight operation in Kabul, officials from the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation welcome the flight resumption by saying “all facilities are currently in place, and other international airlines can also operate flights to Afghanistan”.

“We will provide standard services to ensure better facilities for the people of the region and our own people.”, said Ghulam Jilani Wafa, senior advisor to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.

Though airline connectivity with Kabul has been resumed but visa challenges are impeding the trade and business activities.

Along with the resumption of international airline flights, there is a need to facilitate visa issuance, especially for Türkiye, said the office bearers of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment.

“We have more than fifteen thousand tons of pine nuts annually, and we hope that Turkish Airlines will sign a contract with us to regularly and systematically transport our goods, “ Khanjan Alokozai, a board member of the ACCI, told local news media.

Currently, Afghanistan has currently 27 active airports but only five airports have services of international flights.

Flydubai and Air Arabia have also resumed their flights to Afghanistan.

In 2021, Mahan Air of Iran resumed commercial flights to Afghanistan, carrying passengers between Mashhad and Kabul airport.

The resumption of flights to Kabul by Türkiye’s national flag carrier is an optimistic step for the people of Afghanistan facing political turmoil following the U.S. forces’ chaotic withdrawal from the country.

 

 

 

 

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