Since Taliban formed govt in Afghanistan
The Pakistan International Airlines PK6249 became the first international commercial flight to land at the Kabul international Airport since the Taliban formed the government after a twenty-year war.
The flight left the new Islamabad International Airport at 9:45am Monday. International journalists were on board.
Air Marshal Arshad Malik, who doubles as PIA CEO, said that this operation was critical for Pakistan as well as the world. Everyone is looking at us to re-establish communication with Afghanistan, said the PIA CEO.
PIA suspended its flight operations to Afghanistan last month due to financial issues.
Pakistan’s national flag carrier was the only commercial airline that was connected and evacuating foreigners stranded in Afghanistan. However insufficient facilities and garbage on the runway became a hindrance to flight operations at the airport.
Kabul airport was severely damaged during a chaotic evacuation of over 120,000 people that ended with the withdrawal of US forces on August 30. The Taliban have been scrambling to get it operating again with Qatari technical assistance.
In the last two days Qatar Airways has operated two charter flights out of Kabul, carrying mostly foreigners and Afghans who missed being taken out during the evacuation, AFP reported.
An Afghan airline resumed domestic flights last week.