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Ariana Afghan Airlines faces financial crisis as COVID-19 looms

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(Last Updated On: April 13, 2020)

As per some pieces of evidence received by Ariana News, Ariana Afghan Airlines has fired 40% of its employees while decrementing the payrolls for the remaining employees up to 30%.

Some members of parliament criticize Ariana Afghan Airlines for firing its employees considering it an illegal act. They urge the government to financially support this service company and save jobs.

The COVID-19 has wilted the only governmental airline company in Afghanistan.

The CEO of Ariana Afghan Airlines said that just in the first three months of 2020, the company had suffered a loss of seven million USD due to limited flights and that now efforts were underway to make up for the loss.

Ariana News has received some shreds of evidence which show that the Ariana Afghan Airlines has decided to fire 40% of its employees as well as to decrement the salaries of the remaining employees up to 30%.

Alem Shah Ibrahimi, the CEO of Ariana Afghan Airlines, said, “We terminating our employees because we have walked into financial crisis, and we will pay others at least 30% of their salaries. We have to manage the crisis and not let the company go bankrupt.”

Some legal bodies believe that the financial crisis cannot justify firing employees, especially when COVID-19 has hit people financially.

The evidence shows that Ariana Afghan Airline suggests allocating six million dollars to establish Bakhtar Airlines, although the airline is suffering from the crisis.

Therefore, the authorities have come under criticism for not financially supporting the almost bankrupt Ariana Afghan Airlines, and instead, are trying to establish another airline company.

Although Ariana Afghan Airlines is going through its hard time, with having 40% of its workers sacked, it still conducts domestic flights transporting service workers – meaning, it could be making money.

Moreover, the airline is trying to help import important goods from other countries to Afghanistan.

The government is expected to financially support the service and private businesses to help overcome the crisis derived from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Atmar addresses concerns of Afghans in Tajikistan

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2020)

On a two-day official visit to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, acting foreign affairs minister Haneef Atmar met with a number of Afghan refugees, students and business owners at the Afghan Embassy on Friday evening where he discussed challenges they are facing. 

In a statement issued by foreign affairs on Saturday, the ministry said Atmar assured students and business owners that problems they have been dealing with – specifically due to COVID-19 – would be addressed as soon as possible. 

Easy border crossings for bilateral trade was also addressed and the embassy was instructed to assist refugees with problems they are facing, the statement read. 

Addressing Afghan students that attended the meeting, Atmar said it was important for them to return to their home country once they had completed their studies so as to help with the development of Afghanistan.

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Pakistan to set up markets along Afghanistan-Pakistan border

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(Last Updated On: September 18, 2020)

Pakistan has decided to establish 18 markets along the Pakistan-Iran and Pakistan-Afghanistan borders, Pakistan government said.

Pakistan’s government would establish the markets aimed at boosting trade with the two countries and preventing the menace of smuggling.

The decision was made during a high-level meeting chaired by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, Khan’s office said in a statement.

“The meeting was told that twelve border markets will be established on the Pak-Afghan border while six border markets will be established on the Pak-Iran border,” the statement read.

“The Prime Minister has approved the establishment of two border market in Balochistan Province and one border market in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a pilot project which will be completed and activated by February.”

Imran Khan’s Office noted that the decision to take more effective measures regarding the prevention of smuggling through borders

Talking about the establishment of border markets, the Prime Minister said that the establishment of markets where the population on border areas, especially youth, will get better business and trade opportunities, will come after fencing on the borders, the statement added.

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Kabul, Tehran review cooperation, agree to draw up new strategy

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(Last Updated On: September 16, 2020)

Iran and Afghanistan have agreed to draw up a comprehensive strategic economic document on bilateral cooperation, the head of Iran’s Customs Administration (IRICA) said.

According to Mehdi Mirashrafi, IRICA chief, “facilitating trade, exchanging customs information, solving border problems and developing transit are on the agenda of Iran and Afghanistan.” 

Speaking to journalists after a video conference with Afghan officials, Mirashrafi said: “The two sides decided to prepare a comprehensive strategic economic document, considering the determinations of the two countries for strategic cooperation.”

Tehran Times reported that on the activation of the Iran-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Tripartite Transit Corridor and the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran (KTAI) Quadripartite Corridor, Mirashrafi said: “This trend shows the serious determination of the Iranian Customs to facilitate transit through Afghanistan and connect Central Asian countries to international waters through the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.”

He also said Chabahar Port was one of the major issues discussed in the meeting.

“The port of Chabahar is an important and vital port for Afghanistan in the field of transit of goods through Iran, and accordingly, the Afghan side has demanded reducing visa fees and transit fees and reconsidering the penalties for customs violations in the transit route through Iran.”

The Chabahar seaport has been a vital development in Afghanistan’s efforts to increase connectivity with the region for trade purposes. 

The port is partly intended to provide an alternative for trade between India and Afghanistan as it is 800 kilometers closer to the border of Afghanistan than Pakistan’s Karachi port.

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