Islamabad, Sep 13 (EFE).- Pakistan’s state-owned Pakistan International Airlines on Monday carried out its first commercial flight to Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country on Aug. 15, becoming one of the first foreign airlines to fly to Kabul, while another flight has been planned for Wednesday.
“Today a PIA Boeing 777 flight landed at Kabul at 9:45 local time with 2 passengers on board. (The return) flight brought back around 80 passengers,” PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez told EFE.
Hafeez said that the company was planning a second flight on Wednesday, but did not clarify if it would begin regular flights to the neighboring country once again.
The spokesperson hailed the flight’s importance as the “first commercial flight after Taliban takeover,” although Qatar Airways has already claimed the feat last week.
On Thursday the Qatari flag carrier had operated the first “regular” flight from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai airport after the departure of the last United States soldiers from the premises on Aug. 31.
However, Hafeez insisted that Qatar Airways had carried out chartered flights, which could not be termed as commercial ones.
A team from Qatar has been in Kabul since the US withdrawal to help operate the airport in the Afghan capital, while many countries of the region started sending flights carrying humanitarian aid to the country over the weekend.
The Taliban took control of Kabul on Aug. 15, even as the US and NATO troops were on course for a full withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The interim government announced by the Taliban has been criticized by the international community for exclusively consisting of its members and not including women. EFE