India

Air India Flight With 129 Passengers From Kabul Lands In Delhi

Air India Flight With 129 Passengers From Kabul Lands In Delhi

With a spike in military activity in the Kabul airspace, operating civilian flights is challenging.

New Delhi:

Air India flight AI-244, which took off earlier in the day from Kabul with 129 passengers, landed in Delhi this evening. The future of the airline's three-times-a-week flight to the strife-hit country is now uncertain given Taliban terrorists' near-total take over of even the capital, sources said.

The flight took off from Kabul at 6.06 pm, sources told, and landed in Delhi a little before 8pm.

Earlier, after taking off from Delhi in the morning today, AI-243 landed safely in Kabul after an hour's delay amid the turmoil, ANI reported. The flight had to delay landing as Kabul's air traffic control (ATC) was unavailable to help even as the Taliban reached the city's outskirts, the report said.

A charter flight to Kabul was cancelled earlier today, sources said. With the spike in military activity in the Kabul airspace, operating civilian flights has become challenging.

Replying to ANI's question about any advisory on avoiding Afghanistan airspace, Ministry of External Affair spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "India is looking the security situation very closely and monitoring the situation in Afghanistan but there is no such advisory."

The Taliban terrorists entered Afghanistan's capital Kabul today as the United States evacuated diplomats from its embassy by helicopter and a government minister said power would be handed over to an interim administration. A senior interior ministry official told Reuters that the rebels were pouring in "from all sides" into the city but gave no further details.

A spokesman for the terrorist group said it was in talks with the government for a peaceful surrender of Kabul.

"Taliban fighters are to be on standby on all entrances of Kabul until a peaceful and satisfactory transfer of power is agreed," the statement said, according to Reuters. The entry into the capital caps a lightning advance by Taliban who were ousted from Kabul 20 years ago by the US after the September 11 attacks

The Taliban appear to have gained an upper hand ever since the US-led forces withdrew the bulk of their remaining troops over the past month as Afghanistan's military defences collapsed.