No flights can operate from Kabul airport now as the airspace has been closed, officials said. That means no aircraft can also land there. An Air India aircraft tasked to fly to Afghanistan to bring out people will no longer be able to go there too, sources have said. A NOTAM or notice to airmen has been issued to say Kabul airspace has been closed.
“The airspace is closed. How any airline can operate? As of now we are not able to operate our 12:30 pm flight to Kabul,” a source in Air India told NDTV.
Air India flights coming from the US are likely to be re-routed since the Afghan airspace has been closed, sources said. Flights AI-126 (Chicago-New Delhi) and AI-174 (San Francisco-New Delhi) will have to re-routed to a Gulf nation to refuel, they said, adding Air India is also working on new routes for flights that will depart later from India to the US.
The Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority asked all transit aircraft to reroute, adding any transit through Kabul airspace would be uncontrolled, news agency Reuters reported. Kabul’s flight information region covers all of Afghanistan.
Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 tweeted that an Air India flight from Chicago to Delhi had changed course and exited Afghanistan’s airspace shortly after entering, while a Terra Avia flight from Baku to Delhi was also changing course.
“There will be no commercial flights from Hamid Karzai Airport to prevent looting and plundering. Please do not rush to the airport,” the Kabul airport authority said, news agency AFP reported.
Chaos unfolded at Kabul airport this morning after thousands of people rushed in to take any available flight out of the country led to a desperate situation. Reports said US troops fired in the air to control the crowd. Hundreds of men were seen jostling and trying to climb onto a parked aircraft.
The Taliban were in control of Afghanistan after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and conceded the terrorists had won the 20-year war. The astonishingly quick collapse of the government, with terrorists taking over the presidential palace on Sunday night, triggered fear and panic in the capital Kabul.