PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan said in a statement that the service was a “special flight” to create “goodwill” with the people of Afghanistan and “strengthen humanitarian efforts”.
The spokesperson clarified to CNN that it was “not a flight of aid.” The PIA said the flight was operated by Kabul airport staff and its flight name and number were pasted on board at the airport.
It was not immediately clear whether it could be described as a “commercial” flight, however, it is not clear whether people were actually able to buy tickets for the plane.
PIA CEO Arshad Malik said the company “expects” to restore full services soon.
Civilians have been left searching for a safe passage out of the country since the Taliban takeover in mid-August, confusing the US-led evacuation effort.
The PIA said the Boeing 777 aircraft took off from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad at 6:45 am local time after special arrangements were made by Afghan civil aviation officials and PIA staff.
The spokesman told CNN that foreign journalists traveled to the Afghan capital by flight, while World Bank employees were brought back to Islamabad. Air Commodore Jawad Zafar, Chief Operating Officer of PIA was also on board the aircraft.