A Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 was able to land and takeoff from Kabul on Monday despite chaos at the airport

A Turksih Airlines Boeing 777-300ER A Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER.


  • A Turkish Airlines flight flew from Istanbul, Turkey to Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday while the Taliban swarmed the capital.
  • The flight was able to land in Kabul and depart back for Turkey, evacuating more than 324 passengers.
  • Afghanis have been attempting to flee Kabul by any means necessary, including climbing onboard departing planes.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

While military and civilian aircraft were scrambling to get out of Kabul, Afghanistan, one Turkish Airlines plane was trying to get in.

Turkish Airlines flew what is likely its last flight to Kabul on Monday amid a mass exodus of civilians following the Taliban's rapid advance through the capital city. Flight 706 departed from Istanbul Airport in Turkey on time just after midnight on Monday morning for a routine flight to Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to Flightradar 24, despite mounting tensions in Afghanistan.

The flight had been operating the flight consistently throughout the summer and through the weekend, despite the Taliban's advance across the country. Kabul is one of the airline's more than 300 global destinations with Turkish boasting an extensive Middle Eastern and South Asia network.

After entering Afghanistan airspace from neighboring Turkmenistan, the aircraft entered a holding pattern for just short of an hour before continuing on to Kabul for a 7:44 a.m. landing. The entire flight took just under five hours but instead of using the commercial terminal in Kabul, Flightradar 24 shows the aircraft parking at a section of the airport primarily used by the military.

Turkish Airlines flight path Istanbul-Kabul Turkish Airlines flight 706 from Istanbul, Turkey to Kabul, Afghanistan.

Thomas Pallini/Insider via Flightradar 24

The return flight to Istanbul, initially scheduled for 8:15 a.m., didn't depart until after 1 p.m. Flightradar 24 shows the aircraft taxing to the runway, then back to its parking spot, and ultimately back to the runway where it was able to depart for Istanbul with 324 passengers, according to Turkish media.

Once in the air, the 5-hour flight progressed with no issue as it crossed over Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Georgia before entering Turkish airspace. And unlike its departure, the flight utilized Istanbul's commercial terminal.

Turkish Airlines flight path Istanbul-Kabul Turkish Airlines flight 707 from Kabul, Afghanistan to Istanbul, Turkey.

Thomas Pallini/Insider via Flightradar 24

Photos and videos show Afghani civilians swarming the airport and climbing onboard military and civilian aircraft in a desperate attempt to flee the country. US military aircraft were also evacuating Americans and Afghani special visa applicants trying to come to the US.

Turkish Airlines' other destination in Afghanistan is Mazar-i-Sharif, which fell to the Taliban on Saturday night, according to the New York Times. The last recorded Turkish Airlines flight between Istanbul and Mazar-i-Sharif took place on June 30, according to FlightAware.

Flightradar24 shows that the airline's upcoming flights to Kabul on August 17 and August 18 have been canceled.

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[Author: [email protected] (Thomas Pallini)]

Tags: Travel, Transportation, News, Planes, US, Trends, Georgia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Taliban, New York Times, Middle East, Kabul, Boeing, Istanbul, South Asia, Turkmenistan, Turkish Airlines, Istanbul Turkey, Sharif, KABUL Afghanistan, Mazar, Boeing 777, Hamid Karzai International Airport, Istanbul Airport, Boeing 777-300ER, Flightradar, Turkish Airlines Boeing, Thomas Pallini, BITranspo, Business Visual Features, Afghanistan withdrawal, Afghanistan Turkmenistan, US Turkish Airlines

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August 16, 2021 at 12:50 PM A Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 was able to land in and take off from Kabul on Monday despite chaos at the airport