Asia - Pacific

1st airplane lands at Taliban-controlled Kabul airport

Qatari team arrives in Afghanistan's capital to help resume operations of airport, national flag carrier

Shafiq Ahmad and Serdar Bitmez   | 01.09.2021
1st airplane lands at Taliban-controlled Kabul airport

KABUL, Afghanistan/ DOHA

A team from Qatar arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday to help the country’s national flag carrier and the airport in the capital Kabul to resume operations.

Commercial planes of Ariana Afghan Airlines, as well as military jets and helicopters at the airport, were allegedly damaged by US forces who made an unceremonious exit from Afghanistan a day ago.

The team arrived on a Qatar Airways flight, which was the first to land at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport since the Taliban took full control of the facility in the early hours of Tuesday.

The Qatari team will provide technical assistance to help make the Afghan national flag carrier and the airport operational, according to a Qatari official who requested anonymity.

The team was dispatched to Kabul at the request of the new Taliban administration, he added.

The official said negotiations on the operations and security of the airport are ongoing.

On Tuesday, a Taliban leader and Ariana officials told Anadolu Agency that the departing US troops had damaged civilian aircraft and the airport’s terminals and radar system.

Ahmed Syar Rahat, the maintenance director for the Afghan national flag carrier, said it would take at least $10 million and a month’s time to get the planes back into flying condition.

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