Amid the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, national carrier Air India’s flight to Kabul has been rescheduled after it was reported that Afghan airspace has been closed, due to which flights from India cannot go to Kabul. News agency ANI was told by Air India, ‘Flights cannot operate due to the closure of Afghan airspace.’ It is clear from this that people trapped in Afghanistan are also going to take more time to come to India. At the same time, Air India’s AI 126 Chicago-Delhi flight has been diverted to Gulf airspace due to the closure of Afghan airspace. It was further informed that the morning flight to Kabul would take off in the afternoon and while two aircraft with flight crews were also kept on standby for evacuation.
An Air India official had told ANI, “Due to the prevailing situation in Kabul, the Air India flight has been rescheduled for Kabul at 12:30 am instead of 8:30 am.” Let us tell you that due to the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, flight operations from around the world have been affected at the Hamid Karzai International (HKI) Airport in Kabul.
At the same time, Air India has been asked by the Government of India to keep two aircraft on standby for Kabul evacuation. A government official told ANI, “Two aircraft with flight crew are on standby for evacuation to Kabul. The government is closely monitoring the situation.
Sources also informed that the road to Kabul airport was blocked since night due to the ongoing violence in the city. “The passengers, as well as the airline staff, are facing severe and challenging conditions to reach the airport,” sources told ANI.
Communication with airline employees is also challenging, as mobile networks are not operational in many parts of the cities. Please note that Air India operates one flight per day to Kabul and the airline has advance bookings for the same. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Air India are in touch and continuously monitoring the situation in Afghanistan.
Earlier, Captain T Praveen Kirti, General Secretary, Air India Pilots Association (ICPA) had written a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia regarding the evacuation of Indians and others from Kabul (Afghanistan).
Meanwhile, UAE, Fly Dubai suspended their services to Kabul due to conflict in the country and British Airways has ordered all its pilots to avoid Afghanistan’s airspace due to uncertain conditions in the country. Taliban militants have taken control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and Rashtrapati Bhavan has also been captured after the country’s President Ashraf Ghani fled to Tajikistan.