Friday, 27 August 2021

Kam Air evacuates its passenger planes across border to Iran

Afghanistan’s main commercial airline has flown some of its fleet across the border to Iran in the wake of the Taliban’s return to power. Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation says that the country received an unspecified number of Kam Air planes after a request from the company, according to Forbes. Desperate Afghans were seen climbing onto the company’s planes during chaotic evacuation scenes in Kabul.

“Following the escalation of clashes and tensions at Kabul airport, the owner of the private Afghan airline Kam Air requested the transfer of a number of the company’s airplanes to Iranian airports,” said CAO spokesperson Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh.

“Iran has also issued a landing permit for these planes in line with international cooperation standards with neighboring countries.”

None of the aircraft had any passengers onboard, said Mr Zibakhsh.

Kam Air, the largest private Afghan airline, was set up by businessman Zamaray Kamgar in July 2003 and carried around one million passengers a year on its fleet of 10 aircraft, 4 Boeing A330-300's, 5 Boeing 737-300's and 1 Boeing 737-500 . Mr Kamgar got into the aviation business when a warlord, whose troops he had supplied with food and fuel, could not pay him and instead gave him a Boeing 727, according to The New York Times.

The first flight of Kam Air was operated from Kabul to Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif in November 2003 with a Boeing B727-200, while the first international flight was inaugurated in May 2004 between Kabul and Dubai.

A 2005 crash killed 104 people onboard a Kam Air flight, and the airline was briefly blacklisted by the US military, which claimed that its planes were involved in opium smuggling, added the newspaper.

The airline is based at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai international airport and as of September 2019, operated  flights to 16 destinations: 7 domestic destinations and 9 international, in 8 countries
It has been one of the biggest tax payers in the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment