PIA evacuates 1,100 people from Kabul amid Afghan crisis

ISLAMABAD: Amidst the uncertainty in Afghanistan, Pakistan International Airlines is actively carrying out its operations from Kabul, having evacuated 1,100 people within two days with more such flights in the pipeline.

Considering the volume of demand, the national flag carrier increased the number of flights from five to 14 for this week. Moreover, it has also converted its flights from previous Airbus A320 to much bigger Boeing 777 planes to evacuate a maximum number of people.

According to an official, the PIA had evacuated nearly 1,100 people from Kabul after which the airport was run over by the crowd and all airport set up got dismantled.

Read more: Taliban delegation meets Karzai amid efforts to form new Afghan govt

The PIA has now coordinated with AFCENT and has just resumed its operations to Kabul, he added.

“The first flight after the takeover by Taliban has already reached Kabul and is scheduled to evacuate over 320 people of World Bank to Pakistan.”

The evacuation operation started after the panic among the foreign missions and a number of world institutions and companies stationed in Kabul, desiring to leave the country.

The Pakistan Embassy in Afghanistan immediately contacted the PIA which started planning flights to Kabul to assist with the repatriation mission.

Lauding the PIA’s effort, Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that Pakistan’s commendable evacuation efforts are continuing as PIA has again resumed its operations today.

“Up till now we have evacuated 1,100 personnel from Kabul,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle. He said that Ambassador Mansoor Khan is back in Kabul and Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed all officials in Kabul to facilitate this effort.

Comprehending the humanitarian need, the PIA CEO also offered support to other nationalities, global institutions and multinational companies wanting to evacuate their citizens from Kabul.

The PIA was also approached by the US nationals, missions of the Philippines, Canada, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands, besides other world institutions, international news agencies, asking for capacity and schedule to evacuate their people.

The permissions and planning were conducted by a specially set up operational desk involving representations of flight operations, flight safety, security and PIA local teams.

The PIA chief was personally supervising the desk and was in contact with Afghanistan CAA, military officials, Pakistan’s Embassy in Kabul and the foreign ministry.

The next missions are already planned and will commence from tomorrow (Thursday) to evacuate other nationalities, including foreign journalists and their aides.

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