A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) jet has become the first international commercial flight to land at Kabul International Airport since the Taliban took over the country in mid-August.
The PIA jet transporting a few people from Islamabad to Kabul landed earlier today, according to AFP.
According to an AFP journalist aboard the PIA jet, the flight had just about ten passengers. The journalist went on to say that the plane had more crew than passengers.
On Sunday, a PIA spokeswoman stated that the airline was eager to restart normal commercial services, but that it was too early to determine how frequently flights between the two cities would run.
Flights to and from Kabul, according to the spokesman, are dependent on “a number of things on the ground that is yet to be addressed.”
Last week, Qatar Airways conducted numerous charter flights out of Kabul, transporting primarily foreigners and Afghans who had missed the evacuation.
On September 3, an Afghan airline started domestic flights.
“This is a watershed moment. We are overjoyed “One airport employee, clad in a blue shalwar kameez and an orange high-visibility vest, stated this.
“It’s a good day. Perhaps other airlines will see this and decide to return.”
A bus bearing the words “Welcome to Afghanistan” was waiting to transport passengers from the plane to the terminal, but the new arrivals chose to walk.
According to airport ground personnel, around 100 people were waiting to board the return flight to Islamabad, the majority of them were families of officials with foreign organizations such as the World Bank.
The Kabul airport was extensively damaged during a chaotic evacuation of over 120,000 people that concluded on August 30 with the withdrawal of US forces.
The Taliban have been working hard to reactivate it, with technical support from Qatar and other countries.