One-Way Fare From Kabul to Islamabad Now $1,500, Taliban Demanding Price Cut from Airlines

The price for a one-way trip to Islamabad from Kabul is around $1,500, and the Taliban has threatened to ban an airline company from flights into and out of Afghanistan in reaction to the cost.

Islamabad-based Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Afghanistan's privately-owned Kam Air are the two airline carriers currently operating chartered flights to and from Afghanistan. Tickets for the airlines have increased significantly to cover insurance.

A one-way flight via PIA from Kabul to Islamabad costs about $1,500, up from $300 before the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said. Hours after the Taliban threatened to ban the airlines unless there is a price cut, PIA suspended its flights to Kabul.

Without going into further details, Hafeez said "the situation on the ground is not conducive for international flight operations." Reportedly, some PIA staff were mistreated by Taliban officials for refusing to discount ticket prices, but there were no immediate details or comment from either PIA or the Taliban.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Afghanistan Airlines
A one-way fare from Kabul to Islamabad now costs around $1,500, an airline spokesman said, after the Taliban seized power in August. Above, passengers board a commercial aircraft bound to Kabul at Herat Airport on Sept. 22, 2021. Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, a high-level delegation of Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers has arrived in Turkey for talks with Turkish officials, the Foreign Ministry announced Thursday.

The meetings in the capital of Ankara would be first between the Taliban and senior Turkish government officials after the insurgent group seized control of Afghanistan in August as U.S. forces pulled out of the country after two decades of war.

The Taliban delegation is led by Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister, according to a Taliban spokesman.

Turkey has been working with Qatar to re-open the airport in Kabul, the Afghan capital, for international travel. However, repairs are needed before commercial flights can resume.

The visit to Ankara comes after Taliban leaders held a series of meetings with the United States, 10 European nations, and European Union representatives in Doha, the Qatari capital, earlier this week.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a virtual meeting between the Group of 20 most powerful economies that the international community should keep the channels of dialogue with the Taliban open, to "patiently and gradually steer" them toward establishing a more inclusive government.

Erdogan said Turkey, which already hosts more than 3.6 million Syrians, cannot bear an influx of migrants from Afghanistan, warning that European nations would also be affected by a new wave of migrants.

The Taliban say they want international recognition. They warn that weakening their government will affect security and spark an even bigger exodus of migration from the country.

The current, Taliban-appointed Afghan government, which the former insurgents say is only interim, is comprised solely of Taliban figures, including several blacklisted by the United Nations.