First international commercial flight to Kabul since Taliban takeover

14:46, 13 September 2021
First international commercial flight to Kabul since Taliban takeover Photo: Wikimedia

A dozen people have been carried to the Afghan capital by a Pakistan International Airlines plane.

The first foreign commercial flight to Kabul since the Taliban* had taken possession of Afghanistan on 15 August was performed on Monday.

An aircraft of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) took around ten people from the Pakistani capital Islamabad to the Kabul airport. The plane landed around 10:30 am local time.

"There was hardly anyone on the plane, about 10 people... maybe more staff than passengers," said an AFP journalist.

PIA representatives have earlier announced that they were looking forward to re-establishing regular flights between the countries but were unable to say how often they are planned to circulate.

The Monday event represents the first significant step for Afghanistan to normalize its economic situation and the airport's functioning after thousands of Afghan citizens tried to flee the country during last month’s international evacuation.

“This is an important moment, a day of hope,” an airport employee told AFP.

He has also expressed a longing for other international flights to be resumed soon.

Last week Qatar Airways made several flights out of Kabul. Afghan airlines relaunched domestic services on September 3.

More than 120,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan after the Taliban captured the capital. Western countries took not only their residents, but also thousands of Afghans including human rights activists, refugees, and those Afghans who worked for them during the conflict.

The last US plane left Afghanistan on August 30. The Taliban then declared “independence” and launched wide celebrations to mark the withdrawal of foreign troops.

*Taliban is a terror organization banned in the US, Russia and many other countries.