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Frequent flight delays trigger passenger grievances

Frequent flight delays trigger passenger grievances

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On
Jul 12, 2017 - 15:37

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A number of passengers, irked by frequent delays in departures and arrivals, allege some flights are set back for hours without any reason.

Afghan Ariana Airline (AAA) and Kam Air Officials acknowledge delays in flight departures and arrivals. They say steps are underway to address the issue.

They say flight delays were more frequent in the past but the problem has been resolved to some extent during the past one month.

Delays happen but passengers are informed in writing on ticket slips that they have to reach to the airport three hours ahead of the flight time. The boarding pass counter is closed 45 minutes before the flight time.

Some people, who travelled on AAA, Kam Air and Safi Airline flights, inside and outside the country, grumble about recurring flight delays.

AAA

Khan Jan Alkozai, deputy head of the Afghanistaninfo-icon Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), said he traveled on AAA flight FG-331 in late June to Urumqi. The flight was delayed for two hours just because of the pilot’s anger.

He added passengers were made to wait inside the bus under the wings of the China-bound plane for an hour, as the pilot got angry for some reason. Passengers were brought back to the airport lounge as efforts were made to resolve the issue.

Wahidullah Khanzada, a resident of Kabul who traveled on FG-332 flight on July 6 to Urumqi, alleged passengers had to wait inside the airport for one and half hour for boarding the plane.

He explained the flight departure time was 6:05 but it took off at 7:35. Khanzada said one flight attendant told him the departure had been delayed for 10 people and the plane would take off after their arrival.

Via its Facebook page, Pajhwok asked people about flight delays. In response, Malena Kausar wrote her AAA flight from Ankara to Kabul was delayed for 24 hours.

Nisar Ahmad Barak, hailing from Kandahar province, also griped he regularly traveled between Kandahar City and New Delhi on AAA flights and had to face delays more often than not.

With regard to the grouse of a passenger about the pilot’s wrath, AAA Chief Commercial Officer Abdul Ali Frogh said: “A pilot cannot get angry. There is a system and pilots cannot get angry without a reasonable cause.”

He added if a pilot lost his temper, he would not be allowed to fly a plane as passenger safety relied to his performance and professionalism.

Kam Air

Abdullah Hameed, who travels on Kam Air flights between Herat and Kabul, wrote on social media account its flights were usually behind schedule.

“There has to be someone we should register our complaints with over delayed flights,” he said, without going into details.

On the other hand, Naqib Haroonkhel wrote his Facebook wall: “I had to board a Kam Air flight scheduled for 6pm. I arrived three hours before the departure time.

“However, the plane had taken off three hours ahead of my arrival, because a parliamentarian had an urgent piece of work. Many other passengers also missed the flight!”

Suleman Omar, commercial director of Kam Air, confirmed some flights were delayed. He said flights were delayed or left earlier if a senior government official had any urgency. No alternative flights are operated in such cases.

“Kam Air is the only company that informs customers over the telephone if a flight is delayed even for half an hour. We notify customers one day before a passenger comes to the airport,” he insisted.

Safi Airways

Syed Abbas Sadat, an Afghan studying in India, said: “I had a flight from Kabul to Delhi on June 17. The plane was expected to take off at 1:30pm, but the flight was delayed to 6pm, three and half hours.”

He has travelled on flights of different airlines between Kabul and Delhi over the past two years, but most of them fail to stick to their schedules.

An official of the Safi Airways, who wished to go unnamed, said their flights were frequently delayed in the past. But the problem has now been resolved, according to the official.

Safi Airways flights were set back for an hour and 15 minutes due to technical problems, shortage of planes and other issues, he admitted.

Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) spokesman Qasim Rahimi acknowledged receiving complaints about domestic flight delays. He said they had met representatives of Ariana, Kam Air and Safi Airways on Tuesday on the issue.

The airlines would present their plans for resolving the problem to the ACAA within a week. Rahimi added ACAA placed emphasis on the delivery of satisfactory air transportation services, considering problems of airlines and people’s economic situation.

Any kind of violations of set procedures and laws would be investigated, he promised. Flights delays represent a type of violation and the ACAA would try to resolve the problem.

nh/mds

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