Afghanistan unrest worries IATA, airlines boycott airspace

  • Carriers seek alternative routes for evacuation



The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed worry over the situation in Afghanistan, noting that safe and secure flight operations are the top priority for aviation.

The clearing house for over 290 global airlines said it was closely monitoring developments in the country.

This is coming as airlines had advised IATA that they are avoiding the airspace owing to recent developments.

IATA in a statement disclosed that the Kabul FIR (Afghanistan airspace) which serves major traffic flows between Europe and Asia, is now without provision of a civilian Air Traffic Service., forcing airlines to advise IATA of the boycott of the airspace.

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IATA is participating in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Coordinated Contingency Coordination Team (CCT) which has been activated.


Foreign airlines in flight

This standard protocol for managing such situations according to the group combines the resources of ICAO and IATA in the regions involved, all affected States, and Eurocontrol.

Traffic through Afghan airspace is lower than usual because of reduced demand due to COVID-19. States near Afghanistan have indicated they can accommodate additional traffic.

The use of alternative routes through these states will support safe and secure operations, but will have time, operational and fuel impacts upon airlines.

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Airlines normally using Afghan airspace and IATA are maintaining constant coordination and communication through the standard contingency protocols and sharing information via the IATA Global Tactical Operations Portal (ITOP).

Wole Shadare