First passenger flight departs Afghanistan since US withdrawal

The first international commercial plane has departed from Kabul airport since Western countries finished evacuations from Afghanistan 10 days ago, with a top Qatari official saying the airport is “fully up and running”.

The airport is “about 90 per cent ready for operations but its reopening is planned gradually, Mutlaq al-Qahtani, Qatar’s special envoy to Afghanistan, said on Thursday speaking from the tarmac.

“This is a historic day in the history of Afghanistan as Kabul airport is fully operational. We have been faced by huge challenges … but we can now say that the airport is fit for navigation,” he said.

The Qatar Airways plane had arrived in Kabul earlier on Thursday carrying aid. It departed for Doha, Qatar with passengers, including a large group of foreigners on board.
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