Taliban appeals for resumption of international flights to Afghanistan

Versie Dortch

A limited number of aid and passenger flights have been operating from the Kabul airport. But, normal commercial services have yet to resume since it was closed in the wake of the chaotic evacuation of tens of thousands.

Afghan passengers are pictured in-front of a Qatar Airways airplane at Kabul International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan September 19, 2021. Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Handout via

The Taliban government in Afghanistan has appealed for international flights to be resumed, promising full cooperation with airlines and saying that problems at Kabul airport had been resolved. 

The statement from the foreign affairs ministry comes as the new administration has stepped up efforts to open up the country and gain international acceptance following the collapse of the Western-backed government last month. 

A limited number of aid and passenger flights have been operating from the airport. But normal commercial services have yet to resume since it was closed in the wake of the chaotic evacuation of tens of thousands of foreigners and vulnerable Afghans that followed the Taliban’s seizure of the capital. 

The airport, which was damaged during the evacuation, has since been reopened with the assistance of technical teams from Qatar and Turkey. 

While some airlines including Pakistan International Airlines have been offering limited services and some people have been able to get places on flights, prices have been reported to be many times higher than normal. 

Flight operations in Afghanistan came to a halt after the Taliban takeover of Kabul on August 15. The domestic flights were resumed on September 5. 

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Many Afghans stranded

Foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said the suspension of international flights had left many Afghans stranded abroad and also prevented people from travelling for work or study.

“As the problems at Kabul International Airport have been resolved and the airport is fully operational for domestic and international flights, the IEA assures all airlines of its full cooperation,” he said, using an abbreviation for Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban’s term for their new government.

Since taking power, the Taliban have grappled with a severe economic crisis and have faced pressure on issues ranging from girls’ education to allegations of reprisals against former officials and others associated with the previous government. 

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Pakistan allows Afghan airline flights

Pakistan has allowed an Afghan airline to operate its flights from Islamabad to Kabul, a Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) official said on Sunday.

Kam Air – Afghanistan’s largest private airline – will operate three flights a week, becoming the first Afghan airline to operate outside Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, Irfan Sabir, director of CAA Air Transport, told Anadolu Agency.

The permission, he said, has been granted on the request of Kam Air, which, until now, is the only Afghan airline to apply for the flight permit.

Initially, he said, that the airline might only operate chartered flights from Islamabad to Kabul due to limited passengers. In the coming days, he added, it might start commercial flights.

Founded in 2003, according to the airline’s official website, it has seven aircraft and a workforce of over 1,200 people.

Apart from within Afghanistan, the airline would operate to and from several international destinations, including Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East, before the Taliban takeover.

Pakistan’s state-run Pakistan International Airlines was the first airline to operate the first international flight to Afghanistan on September 13, after the Taliban takeover.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies


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