By Ashoke Raj
New Delhi [India], August 15 (ANI): National Carrier Air India AI-243 landed safely at Afghanistan capital Kabul from Delhi an hour delayed amid turmoil in Afghanistan with Taliban. AI-243 took off from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport for Kabul in the morning.
Security and boarding processes of an Air India flight are underway at Kabul airport in Afghanistan. The flight will return to Delhi tonight with a full load of passengers.
Soon after landing the aircraft Air India staff was told by the aviation authority at the Kabul, “to start boarding the passengers who wish to come back to their homeland, currently security checks boarding and process are underway,” top sources told ANI.
The two-hour and the twenty-minute flight had to be halted in the air for about an hour. Taliban forces, which have devastated the war-torn country, reached the outskirts of Kabul and officials in Kabul’s air traffic control (ATC) were unavailable to help Air India Flight AI-243 land.
“Air India plane hovering over Kabul airspace due to landing permission was not given by ATC, finally plane is landed at Kabul airport.” Sources told ANI.
Earlier Air India has only three flights in a week for Kabul now as per demand Air India increases flight services to Kabul seven days a week.
Replying to ANI question on whether India has issued an advisory regarding avoiding Afghanistan airspace in connection with the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, Ministry of External Affair (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that “India is looking the security situation very closely and monitoring the situation in Afghanistan but there is no such advisory.”
According to the sources, India is closely monitoring the fast-changing situation in Afghanistan and will be deciding on the evacuation of diplomatic personnel from Kabul amid the Taliban gaining control.
Earlier today, the Taliban entered the Afghan capital Kabul from all sides faced with little or no resistance.
There are negotiations going on in the Afghan Presidential Palace ARG to transfer power to the Taliban.
Moreover, Ali Ahamd Jalali will be appointed as head of the new interim government, The Khaama Press Agency reported citing sources. (ANI)