PIA drops unique trips to Kabul for need of authorization


RAWALPINDI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has operated seven special flights and repatriated as many as 1,460 people, most of them foreigners, stranded in Afghanistan since the Taliban gained control of Kabul within the middle of August.

However, more flights weren’t operated thanks to a scarcity of “permission” despite the very fact that three planes and staff were able to fly after the ecu Union and Asian Development Bank had sought help from PIA to evacuate their employees from Afghanistan.

A spokesman for PIA said the ensign carrier operated seven special flights and repatriated 1,460 passengers, including Pakis­tanis and foreigners, as Boeing 777 and Airbus A320 aircraft were used for the operation.

Owing to the restriction on Afghan nationals from leaving the country by the Taliban, PIA didn’t operate special flights, because the airline couldn’t take responsibility of bringing the Afghan travellers to the airport.

The authorities concerned didn’t reply when asked to make sure the presence of intending passengers at the airport, therefore, PIA didn’t operate more special flights to Kabul and secondly the Kabul airport’s runway wasn’t clear, but dirty, he added.

Since the Taliban have announced amnesty for Afghans, they are doing not want citizens to go away the country amid growing demand for early evacuation of foreigners.

The EU and ADB had sought help from PIA to evacuate their people from Afghanistan. The PIA CEO and Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan were requested to form available a special aircraft for evacuation of the EU delegates and their dependents from Kabul on humanitarian grounds.

While PIA planned to run three special flights to Kabul on Monday following these demands, the plans were shelved for want of “permission”.

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