Taliban says Kabul airport fully operational, asks airlines to return

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The Taliban has asked international airlines to return to Kabul, saying the airport is now “fully operational.”

Kabul International Airport (KBL) was damaged during the chaotic evacuation process in August after the Taliban swept to power, prompting a rush to leave the country, with violence breaking out at times at the airport.  

Qatar has been helping Afghanistan to restore operations at KBL. The airport had reopened to domestic flights on September 5, 2021, but radar and other navigational systems still required repair, meaning international civilian flights could not take place. 

The Taliban government, which calls itself the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said in a statement on September 26, 2021, that the problems were resolved.

“As the problems at Kabul International Airport have been resolved and the airport is fully operational for domestic and international flights, the IEA assures all airlines of its full cooperation,” a foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency. 

Reuters reported that while there are some international flights available, prices are higher than normal. It cited the Taliban spokesman as saying the lack of flights had left Afghans stranded abroad and stopped people from traveling for work or study.  

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