View Full Version : UN charges arm&leg on return flights out of Kabul

28th Nov 2001, 00:01
Apparently the UN charges about US$2500 per head on (otherwise empty) return flights out of Kabul. People who want to leave Kabul (journalists etc) for the violence threat (another journalist murdered in Afghanistan) have the choice: either they hick up the cash or they stick to the ground convoys. Chances are 1 to 10 they get robbed or murdered. :mad:

Hand Solo
28th Nov 2001, 03:25
Nobody forced the journos to go there! If they weren't carrying large sums of cash they'd be less of a target for robbery. I think the UN should be thanked for relieve=ing them of this burden and in doing so increasing the journos safety!

Kalium Chloride
28th Nov 2001, 17:41
Steady on, HS.

Journalists are not out there on holiday. They're doing their job - in some cases risking their lives. Reflect for a few seconds -- just a few, it won't hurt -- on the fact that eight reporters have died so far as a result of the conflict. Perhaps people would rather the media jacked the whole thing in, and let the Taliban et al tell you what's what.

There are a few idiot reporters around, for sure. But there's also a core of professional journalists whose courage and skill would put many an armchair critic and couch potato to shame.

Nobility is defined by action, not profession.

28th Nov 2001, 19:15
Let us get one thing straight about journalists and why they are exposing themselves to risk in Afganistan: it is to make money - for themselves and for their network or newspaper or magazine.

They are not essential to the conduct of operations: indeed in many instances their presence and insistence on real time exposure to the World greatly jeopardizes the safety of the friendly forces.

They are not essential to exposing breaches of the conventions on human rights: that evidence will be soon evident to U.N. officials and others doing a real job of work in attempting to provide aid to the destitute, hungry and sick.

They are not there to gain intelligence for the friendly forces; nor are they there to report impartially - their editors and the political correctness of the scenario dictates that what is published is 'in-line' with the wishes of 'the powers that be'!

They are in fact contributors to the propaganda machine of the friendly forces.

They seek personal glory so that they can name a greater fee for future assignments. They are there to feed their egos and bolster their bank balances.

And for their network or newspaper or magazine they are there to create sensational stories so that the ratings / circulation hence profits increase.

28th Nov 2001, 19:31
Have never heard of the UN charging for seats.....Is it in their AOC? Probably the pilots/crew making a quick buck....you never know...On that whos flying the UN contracts out of Kabul? Ruskies or Western?

28th Nov 2001, 19:32

What is wrong with making money, for yourself or your company?

Isn't that what you fly for?

We all have to work, we all make a living in our own chosen occupations. These guys are doing their jobs, just like you do.

28th Nov 2001, 19:37
I used to be down there flying for the UN..
Never had an empty return from Kabul going to Islamabad or Peshawar.. The quite costly trip nowadays is because of the insurance costs.. We were never allowed to be on the ground in Kabul for more than 30 minutes.. If we were, the insurance was waived.. So i suppose noone but the insurancecompanies are making money on these I must say quite heroic trips..

John, I'm only dancin'
28th Nov 2001, 19:40

Surely you are not serious? Do you hold any other professions in such contempt? History is full of Journalists who have made a difference, and often paid for it with their lives. If they had been interested in money alone maybe they would have become pilots!

28th Nov 2001, 20:26
Well, they've got to find the money for their conferences and outrageous salaries from somewhere I guess.... ;)

Kalium Chloride
29th Nov 2001, 02:41
Abgo, your naivety is quite astonishing.

30th Nov 2001, 00:30
As every journalists report that I have seen on a subject or event that I know something about is garbage, I can only assume that all their other reporting is garbage. For other comment on their accuracy see frequent references in the archives here.

Therefore they should be held in contempt and who cares what happens to them on these pathetic ego trips.

John, I'm only dancin'
30th Nov 2001, 14:59

Try reading something other than tabloids - you might be surprised that there are a few (and I do mean a few!) journos out there who do care about getting their facts right.

[ 30 November 2001: Message edited by: John, I'm only dancin' ]

30th Nov 2001, 15:15
Dancing John, I'm not going to buy into the journo debate but would like to tell you that I also voted for John Howard. Your sarcastic comment "paragon of tolerance" I take it to refer to his his method of dealing with illegal immigrants to this country. He, like the journos is also doing his job and doing it bloody well, which is the opinion of the majority here in Australia.

John, I'm only dancin'
30th Nov 2001, 15:36

Fair comment on John Howard - reference removed. I may not agree with the man, but he has been democratically elected and has every right to promote his policies.

My journo remarks still stand.

[ 30 November 2001: Message edited by: John, I'm only dancin' ]

Max Torque
1st Dec 2001, 01:57
Hi 4granted. Yer mate putco reckons you have a sense of humour. So on behalf of the UN pilots I am pleased to inform you that our Afghan contract killer (he cost us 30 US) is on his way to GVA to steal all your toys and shoot your dog.
Next time please be more careful about making disparaging comments on the ethics of a bunch of pilots who you don't know. :p

1st Dec 2001, 02:03
Dancing John,

The so called "quality press" is no better than the tabloids. As you appear to be familar with oz the worst I am aware of is a Melbourne broadsheet noted for it's self promotion.

Kalium Chloride
1st Dec 2001, 03:13
Why would the Aussie journos be any less biased, prejudiced and arrogantly judgemental than their readers? :D

1st Dec 2001, 14:10
Wether the journo's do a good job informing the public is a different topic. Other sources confirmed that this practise is going on, most probably by corrupt UN people in the field (groundstaff and/or pilots). I mentioned the journo's but I could have mentioned relief workers aswell. My point was that the UN also has a moral obligation towards people in difficult circumstances. Don't forget that the UN represents all of us. This is a disgusting practice but hard to avoid. :mad:

6th Dec 2001, 23:42
I suppose I should thank you Cpt CAVEMAN. After years of browsing PPrune, you have finally pushed me to register and post for the first time.

I am amazed that you can sit at home and libel individuals you do not know who are trying to help others less fortunate than themselves.

I am going to commit another first and spoil rumour with facts.

The high cost is due to insurance as mentioned earlier. Indeed if there was such a huge profit to be made as you have suggested I am sure that Easy and Ryan would be out here by now.
Fact no.2, due to renegotiating insurance the cost is now half the original one you quoted.
Fact no.3, All passengers using the service pay the same price. The UN agency I work for paid the same price as the journalists who were on my flight both ways.

I am not going to get into Journalist bashing. As in all walks of life there are good and bad. However, without the service that you are so happy to criticise, the journalists would be forced to drive along the Peshawar-Kabul road where 4 journalists died recently. There is one hard working man in Kabul who is in that city dealing primarily with flight requests. Some of it is due to changes of pre arranged seats by humanitarian staff but most of his time is taken up trying to meet the requests, and sometimes demands of non-humanitarian related passengers.

Maybe you have a vast experience of field staff corruption within the UN. In which case I suggest you take it to the right authorities to ensure they are prosecuted and this abuse is stamped out. Alternatively, you could apologise, not to me as I'm relatively new to this, but to the many people who have dedicated years to helping others.

The Guvnor
7th Dec 2001, 00:06
Blakey, I spent many years in Africa - the last of which were based in Burundi which has a large UN/NGO presence. The UN personnel there tool around in their Toyota Landcruisers interfering in the affairs of private operations as well as the NGOs; and I can personally attest to serious corruption at the highest levels of the UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF which indeed was reported to New York - complete with documentary evidence - and no action was taken other than the posting of the individuals concerned to other locations (including a promotion for two of them!)

One of those individuals, by ignoring instructions issued by the Secretary General's Representative in Burundi and the Chief Security Officer of UNICEF was directly responsible for the murders of the Head of UNICEF in Burundi and a Logistics Officer of the WFP. An investigation carried out by the Security Detachment of the UN found this individual culpable, but she was protected by more senior interests.

I was informed by several people - including officials at the highest levels in both the US and Belgian Embassies together with other organisations such as ECHO that this is par for the course.

On top of this, the UN Organisations refuse to abide by normal commercial terms (ie payments in advance or the provision of security deposits, bank guarantees or letters of credit) and generally demand 90 day terms.

Whilst in the past we've carried out many missions for them, I would certainly no longer be prepared to do so. Having seen their operations in the Great Lakes region of Africa and Somalia, I regard them as a joke and understand fully why the Americans refuse to pay their dues.

Rossair operate a large slice of the UN flights in that neck of the woods (and I believe they are the main contractor in Pakistan/Afghanistan as well) - we had two of their Twotters based in BJM (one UN the other ICRC). By and large those pilots are a great bunch of okes and are highly professional ... even if they do get screwed by HQ on a frequent basis!

Chuck Ellsworth
7th Dec 2001, 01:23
Africa the UN and corruption?

Hey Gov. if anyone needs some more education on this subject I suggest they spend some time on the ramp in FNLU. Get to know some of the pilots and share a few beer.

Yeh the UN is a great orginazation. And the tooth fairy is for real.


:D The hardest thing about flying is knowing when to say no. :D