The first international flight landed in the recently completed airport in the eastern province of Khost on Monday. An Ariana Afghan Airlines’ fight arrived from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The flight carried over 80 passengers from Dubai to Khost, most of whom were Khost residents or from neighboring provinces.
“Fortunately, this flight is the first international flight happening in Khost province,” said Mohammad Salim Rahimi, acting director of Ariana Afghan Airlines.
Local flights used the airport about one and a half months earlier.
Residents of the southeastern province welcomed the start of the international flights in the province, and they said that it makes it easy for them and for the residents of the neighboring provinces to travel locally and internationally to and from Khost airport instead of traveling to Kabul or other domestic airports.
The residents say the airport will help them develop business in the province.
“Khost is one of the strategic zones in the country; the start of the flights will provide many opportunities for the people,” said Ghulam Jeelani Wafa, director of the flight standards department at the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA).
The Khost airport has cost 900 million Afghanis ($ 11.5M) and taken the last 10 years.
According to the ACCA, international flights will continue in the province every week and be carried out by local airlines. Some international airlines have expressed interest in flights to and from the Khost airport as well.