European aviation watchdog says commercial flights over Afghanistan should be suspended

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Commercial airlines should avoid flights through Afghanistan’s airspace while the country is in the grip of political turmoil after the Taliban takeover, according to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

“EASA is advising commercial operators not to conduct any flights in FIR [Flight Information Regions] Kabul airspace until further notice,” the watchdog said responding to an inquiry from TASS news agency, adding that the recommendation will be reviewed on September 20.

On Monday, Afghanistan’s aviation authority also recommended that airlines should avoid the nation’s air corridors, saying that the airspace had been “released to the military.”

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Aviation authorities in the United Arab Emirates also suspended all flights to Afghanistan, citing concerns over safety and the security of civil aviation.

Military forces of the Taliban, outlawed in Russia as a terrorist organization, took over the capital city of Kabul on August 15. The Taliban now controls almost the entire country after Washington announced the complete withdrawal of US troops after nearly a 20-year presence.

The Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul has been overrun by thousands of Afghans desperate to leave the country after the Taliban victory.

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