More PIA flights bring Pakistanis, foreigners stranded in Kabul

Published August 21, 2021
A spokesperson for PIA said, “Two more special PIA flights left for Kabul to bring back Pakistanis and foreigners stranded in Kabul to Pakistan.” — AFP/File
A spokesperson for PIA said, “Two more special PIA flights left for Kabul to bring back Pakistanis and foreigners stranded in Kabul to Pakistan.” — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Inter­national Airlines operated two more special flights to bring Pakistani nationals and foreigners stranded in Afghanistan to Pakistan on Friday. The PIA’s Chief Executive Officer, Arshad Malik, left with the first flight to encourage the crew.

The PIA CEO will hold meetings with Afghan Civil Aviation and Nato officials at Kabul airport and review administrative matters and operation with Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Khan.

A spokesman for PIA said: “Two more special PIA flights left for Kabul to bring back Pakistanis and foreigners stranded in Kabul to Pakistan.”

Airbus 320 and Boeing 777 were used in the two flights.

CEO leaves for Afghan capital to discuss matters with Afghan Civil Aviation, Nato officials

According to the PIA spokesman, Minister for Aviation Sarwar Khan said the situation was being reviewed for operating more flights to other cities of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, a special flight of PIA — which was stuck at the Kabul airport on Wednesday — arrived at Islamabad International Airport on Thursday morning with Pakistanis, staff of foreign diplomatic missions and people from international organisations onboard.

The national flag carrier’s Boeing 777 flight PK-6249 — the first international flight since the formation of new government in Afghanistan — could not fly back to Islamabad on Wednesday night to repatriate Pakistanis and staff of foreign diplomatic missions stranded in Kabul due to security situation.

The PIA spokesman said: “This was the first international flight since the new government was formed in Afghanistan by the Taliban.”

He said the PIA’s special flight carrying passengers from Kabul returned to Pakistan safely and landed at Islamabad International Airport at 7am on Thursday.

The spokesman said that information regarding delayed return of the special flight was kept secret due to security reasons on Wednesday.

“The PIA administration had been in constant touch with the new Afghan government, civil aviation and Nato officials for the return flight,” the spokesman said, adding that CEO Arshad Malik was overseeing the operation directly from PIA’s exchange room.

PIA had been in contact with the new Afghan administration staff and on-site security agencies, the spokesman said, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan and other senior government officials were also kept informed about the arrival of the plane.

He said that Pakistanis, staff of foreign diplomatic missions and people from major international organisations were rescued during the special flight as passengers were facilitated by PIA’s ground staff in Kabul.

A day after the Taliban took control of Kabul, the flight operation to Kabul was suspended by PIA.

PIA’s special flight PK-6249 was the first flight to land at the Kabul airport after temporary suspension of international flights.

One of the two special flights of the national flag carrier, which departed for Kabul to evacuate Pakistanis, foreigners and Afghans, arrived in Islamabad on Friday evening, while the second flight is likely to reach Islamabad in the night.

Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, said in a tweet: “Pakistan embassy in Kabul is arranging evacuation of 350 foreign nationals, Pakistanis & Afghans on two special flights by PIA. The Embassy has made arrangements in its own compound.”

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Time for dialogue
Updated 24 Jun, 2024

Time for dialogue

If the PML-N and PTI remain mired in mutual acrimony, an ever-widening gap will continue to allow non-political forces to assert themselves.
Property taxes
24 Jun, 2024

Property taxes

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, along with the higher taxes imposed on real estate in the recent budget, ...
Fierce heat
24 Jun, 2024

Fierce heat

CLIMATE change is unfolding as predicted by experts: savage heat, melting glaciers, extreme rainfall, drought, ...
China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...