A total of 250 people on 3 Belgian evacuation flights on Saturday

Around 250 people were on board three Belgian evacuation flights out of Kabul on Saturday. They were flown to the Pakistani capital Islamabad where the Belgian evacuation mission is based. The news on the number of evacuees has been confirmed by both the Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès (Francophone liberal) and the Belgian Defence Minister Ludivine Dededonder (Francophone socialist). Meanwhile, some of those that were among the first Belgians to be evacuated from Kabul have arrived at Peutie Barracks in Flemish Brabant. 

On the first of Saturday’s flights over 80 people were on board, 57 of them Belgian, 27 of them Dutch. With a total around of 170 people aboard Saturday’s other two evacuation flights, the Belgian evacuation mission now seems to be well and truly on the rails.

Writing on Twitter the Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder wrote “This is a positive evolution and we hope to maintain”.

The evacuation mission had a difficult start. The first flight was turned away, while the other three were allowed to land. At Saturday evening’s press briefing it was stressed that the situation around Kabul Airport remains precarious due to the flood of people that have gathered there. The Belgian military intends to carry out a further 4 evacuation flights today.

The Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès wrote on Twitter that “During the coming days too we will work hard to continue carrying out evacuation flights and then to bring people home too”.

On Friday at Belgian C-130 was able to evacuate just 16 Belgians. A Dutch plane evacuated a further 17 Belgians.

Meanwhile, the first of the Belgian evacuees have arrived back in Belgium. They were taken by coach from Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam to Peutie Barracks in Flemish Brabant. 

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