PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan said in a statement that the service was a “special flight” to create “goodwill” with the Afghan people and to “strengthen humanitarian efforts”.
The spokesperson told CNN that it was “not an aid theft.” PIA said the flight was handled by Kabul airport staff and their name and flight number were displayed on signs at the airport.
However, it was not immediately clear whether it could be described as a “commercial” flight, as it is not clear whether people were actually able to purchase tickets for the plane.
PIA CEO Arshad Malik said the company would “hopefully” be able to restore all services soon.
Civilians have struggled to find safe passage from the country since the Taliban takeover in mid-August confused the US-led evacuation effort.
PIA said the Boeing 777 left Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, at 6:45 a.m. local time after special arrangements were made by Afghan civil aviation authorities and PIA staff.
Foreign journalists visited the Afghan capital during the flight while World Bank workers were flown back to Islamabad on the return, the spokesperson told CNN. PIA’s COO, Air Commodore Jawad Zafar, was also on board.
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