According to a spokesperson for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), flights from Islamabad to Kabul will resume next week, making it the first foreign commercial service since the Taliban took control last month.
During a chaotic evacuation of over 120,000 people that ended on August 30 with the withdrawal of US troops, Kabul airport was severely damaged. With Qatari technical help, the Taliban have been rushing to make it operational again.
“We have got all technical clearances for flight operations,” PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan told AFP.
“Our first commercial plane… is scheduled to fly from Islamabad to Kabul on September 13.” Khan said the service would depend on demand.
“We have received 73 requests which is very encouraging… from humanitarian relief agencies and journalists,” he said.
Qatar Airways has flown two charter flights out of Kabul in the past two days, carrying mostly foreigners and Afghans who were not evacuated during the evacuation.
Last Monday, an Afghan airline began domestic flights.