A first commercial flight will link Islamabad to Kabul on Monday, a spokesperson for Pakistani airline PIA announced on Saturday, a first since the Taliban took control of power in Afghanistan. “We have all the technical authorizations for air operations,” said Abdullah Hafeez Khan. “Our first commercial Airbus A320 aircraft will take off from Islamabad to reach Kabul on September 13,” he said.
“At this stage, we have received 73 requests” from interested passengers, “which is very encouraging,” he added, adding that many requests came from humanitarian aid organizations and journalists wishing to travel to Kabul. This is the first commercial flight announced since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, followed by the departure of the last American troops from the country on August 30.
The last evacuations
A first international passenger flight – but not commercial – took off from Kabul on Thursday, followed by another, operated by Qatar Airways, on Friday with 1,58 passengers on board, including Americans, Germans, Canadians, French, Dutch, Belgians and Mauritians.
At the end of August, Kabul airport was the scene of scenes of chaos with thousands of Afghans, frightened by the return of the Taliban, desperately trying to board the gigantic airlift organized by the United States, among others.
In total, more than 123,000 people, mainly Afghans, had been evacuated as part of the process marked on August 26 by a deadly attack claimed by the local branch of the Islamic State.