Afghanistan: the first international commercial flight since the return of the Taliban landed in Kabul

September 13, 2021 by archyde

A plane from Pakistani company PIA landed at Kabul airport on Monday, the first international commercial flight since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, AFP journalists noted.

This is one of the first signs of economic normalization for the country and its main international airport, which had been besieged at the end of August by thousands of Afghans wanting to leave the country after the return to power of the Islamist movement.

The PIA aircraft, which landed around 10:30 am local time (06:00 GMT), was carrying only a few people.

“There was hardly anyone on board the plane, around 10 people (…), maybe more crew members than passengers,” said an AFP journalist on board. flight from Islamabad.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for the PIA confirmed this first flight to Kabul, specifying, however, that the company was still working to make them regular.

“This is an important moment, a day of hope,” an employee at Kabul airport, wearing a traditional long blue shirt, told AFP, hoping that other companies would follow suit quickly. example of the PIA and fly again to Kabul.

After the sudden resumption of power by the Taliban, the Western allies of the ousted government, led by the United States, organized a gigantic airlift at Kabul airport which in total evacuated more than 123,000 people, mainly Afghans.

The chaotic and desperate expectation of the Afghans took a dramatic turn on August 26 when the local branch of ISIS (IS-K) carried out an attack amid the crowds, killing more than 100 people.

The Taliban have since taken full control of the airport, assisted in particular by their allies in Qatar, and signs of a return to normal have multiplied for ten days.

Two charter flights operated by Qatar Airways took off last week with foreign nationals and Afghans on board who could not be evacuated at first.

On September 3, the Afghan public airline Ariana Airlines also announced the resumption of its domestic flights.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my