Ariana Afghan Airlines resumed some flights in Afghanistan between Kabul and three major provincial cities this Saturday (4), said the airline, after a technical team from Qatar reopened the capital’s airport for humanitarian aid and domestic services.
Flights between Kabul and Herat in the west, Mazar-i Shariff in the north and Kandahar in the south have started operating, the airline said in a statement on its Facebook page.
“Ariana Afghan Airlines is proud to resume its domestic flights,” he said.
Earlier, Qatar’s ambassador to Afghanistan claimed that a technical team had managed to reopen the airport in Kabul to receive assistance, according to Qatar’s news channel Al Jazeera.
Taliban forces patrol in front of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday (2) — Photo: Reuters
The airport runway was repaired in cooperation with authorities in Afghanistan, the ambassador said, according to Al Jazeera, in another small step towards relative normality after the turmoil of the past three weeks.
Reopening the airport, vital to both the outside world and the mountainous territory of Afghanistan, has been a top priority for the Taliban, who are trying to restore order after the lightning takeover of Kabul on 15 August.
Kabul airport had been closed since the end of the extensive US operation to evacuate by plane its citizens, other foreigners and Afghans who had helped Western countries.
Afghans crowd on the runway at Kabul airport on Aug. 16 to try to flee the country after the Taliban take control of Afghanistan — Photo: AFP
The end of the evacuation of tens of thousands of people marked the withdrawal of the last US forces from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.
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Thousands of people wanting to leave Afghanistan, afraid of life under Taliban command, were left behind when the evacuation operation ended in late August.
The Taliban, opponents of the West in the two-decade war after the September 11, 2011 attacks on the United States, promised safe passage to anyone who wanted to leave.