A number of scheduled domestic flights have resumed from the Afghan capital, Kabul. Ariana Afghan Airlines planes left on Saturday for the cities of Herat, Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif.
Ariana’s manager in Kabul told the US news agency that the planes had taken off while the airport’s radar system was not working yet. Three more domestic flights are scheduled for the day.
The resumption of flights comes thanks to Qatari and Turkish aviation experts and air traffic controllers who arrived in Afghanistan last week to get air traffic back on track. It has been silent since last Monday, the last flight carrying US soldiers departed from Kabul, ending the international evacuation.
Shortly thereafter, the Taliban took control of the military part of the international airport, and took control of the entire airport area. After the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, the area around the airport has been the scene of chaos for more than two weeks due to the massive influx of Afghans and foreigners seeking to leave the country. The Taliban refused to allow the evacuation to continue beyond the agreed deadline of August 31, although by then not everyone entitled to do so was outside the country.
Consulting with the Taliban on new evacuations
The international community wants the evacuations to resume and a number of countries are in talks with the Taliban on this issue. The Netherlands also held consultations with the new Afghan rulers at the end of last week. On Wednesday and Thursday, outgoing Foreign Minister Kag spoke in Qatar, Pakistan and Turkey about the possibility of resuming evacuation flights from Kabul.
The United Nations is calling for the airport to be reopened to international air traffic, which is essential to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan.
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