Afghanistan being one of the world's most dangerous places is worried airlines might avoid its airspace.


New York (AirGuide Features - Inside Air Travel) Tue, Jul 22, 2014 - Following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine, flying over conflict zones has come under scrutiny, Afghanistan being one of the world's most dangerous places is worried airlines might once again opt to avoid its airspace. Afraid of being shot down, some airlines have decided to circumnavigate the area where pro-Russian rebels are fighting Ukrainian forces after the crash, raising concern that companies could follow suit in other conflict zones such as Afghanistan. With its strategic location between the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia, Afghanistan is hard to avoid for airlines flying between Asia and Europe, and its airspace is crucial for global route planning. NATO-led troops, known as the International Security Assistance Force, are for now responsible for advising Afghanistan on the safety of its skies. But once foreign forces leave at the end of the year, the responsibility will fall on Afghan air traffic controllers - another concern for foreign airlines mulling the future of their business in, and over, Afghanistan. The Taliban, equipped mainly with small weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, do not have the military capacity to down aircraft at cruising altitude, but militants frequently fire short-range rockets in attack on airports - the main worry for commercial airlines flying into the country. "The security situation at Kabul airport is bad," said Hikmatullah Qwanch, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation and Aviation. "If there are more attacks on the airports and Afghanistan's sky is not safe, then it will soon affect operations." On...

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