PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan said in a statement that the service was a “special flight” to create “goodwill” with the people of Afghanistan and to “strengthen humanitarian efforts.”
The spokesman clarified to CNN that this was “not an aid flight.”
PIA said the Boeing 777 aircraft departed Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city, at 6:45 a.m. local time after special arrangements had been made by Afghanistan’s civil aviation authorities and PIA’s staff.
Foreign journalists traveled into the Afghan capital on the flight while employees of the World Bank were brought back to Islamabad on the return leg, the spokesman told CNN.
These flights signal that at least some foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan will be able to do so, following weeks of uncertainty. Civilians have been left scrambling to find safe passage from the country since the Taliban takeover in mid-August threw a US-led evacuation effort into confusion.