Ariana Afghan Airlines, Afghanistan’s national carrier, is set to conduct all flights between Kabul and New Delhi from the start of the New Year, the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) said on Wednesday.
In a notification letter issued on Saturday, The ACAA has warned private carrier Kam Air it will face legal action if the airline company does not halt its flights on the route.
But Kam Air aviation company has described the move by the ACAA as illegal and warned that such a move will have significant economic implications for the country.
According to the ACAA, India and Afghanistan had agreed that only the government-run aviation companies are allowed to conduct flights between Kabul and New Delhi during the COVID-19 lockdown.
But Kam Air has rejected the claim.
“The claim that only government aviation companies were allowed to conduct flights has no credibility, this goes against the principles that were set by the Indian government,” said Sulaiman Omar, the head of the business department of Kam Air.
This comes after the Indian government has put some limitations on the international flights during the lockdown.
“If we were not allowed to conduct flights, then why does the country (Indian govt) which implemented these principles allow us to carry out the flights?, asked Sulaiman Omar, the head of the business department at Kam Air.
“Monopolization is not only against the nature of the marketplace, but also against the prevailing laws of Afghanistan. In Afghanistan’s criminal codes, monopoly has been evaluated as a crime,” said Abdul Wase Haidari, an economic expert in Kabul.
According to Kam Air officials, the halting of its flights has affected the transfer of passengers, Afghanistan’s exports and the payment of taxes.
“The main part of our exports to India are being carried out through the air corridor with the help of Kam Air, halting the flights will be a major economic loss for the private sector,” said Shafiq Sikandari, a member of the Afghanistan Chambers Federatioin.
The Afghan Civil Aviation Authority refrained from commenting.