First civilian flight from Kabul since US exit lands in Doha
More than 100 passengers have arrived in Doha, Qatar after flying from Kabul airport on the first flight ferrying out foreigners since a US-led evacuation ended.
Qatar, a major transit point for Afghan refugees, has said it worked with Turkey to swiftly resume operations at Kabul’s airport to allow the flow of people and aid.
The flight, operated by state-owned Qatar Airways, landed at Doha’s Hamad International Airport on Thursday, marking the first successful flight of its type since the chaotic airlift of more than 120,000 people concluded last month.
Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from the airport in Doha, said there were about 113 passengers on board.
“The nationalities on board are comprised of Canadians, Americans, Ukrainians, Germans, British citizens and others,” Jamjoom said.
“They are transiting through Doha. After they clear customs they will be taken temporarily to a compound here in Doha, housing Afghan evacuees and Afghan refugees.”
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani praised the Taliban for allowing the flight to depart.
“We managed to fly the first plane with passengers… we thank (the Taliban) for their cooperation,” Sheikh Mohammed said in televised remarks.
“This is actually what we are expecting from the Taliban, to see these positive statements translated into action,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
“I think this is a positive message, that we are supporting.”