All three remaining aircraft to be used by the Belgian Defence Force for the evacuation of Afghanistan left Melsbroek military airport on Wednesday.
Two of the older planes, C130 Hercules transport aircraft, set off around 11:00 AM and will make a stop at Cyprus before continuing to Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, where they are expected to arrive around midday Thursday.
The third, an Airbus A400M, will take off in the afternoon, around 15:00 PM, and make the journey to Islamabad in a single flight, arriving at some point in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“The complete detachment is composed of about 100 people, including a technical support team, administrative and security staff,” a spokesperson for Ludivine Dedonder, Federal Defense Minister, said.
Only the C130s will make the subsequent journey to Kabul with each capable of transporting between 50 and 70 passengers.
The Defence Force has requested permission for the two aircraft to land at Kabul Airport on Friday morning. The duration of the operation and the number of journeys necessary to evacuate those being assisted by Belgian forces are not yet known.
A technical support team of 16 personnel will make the voyage alongside
A Falcon 7-X bearing a preparation team and a consular support team already departed from Melsbroek on Tuesday, and has arrived safely in Islamabad, where staff is continuing its work.
The FPS Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration are currently working to identify people who can be repatriated to Belgium.
Meanwhile, 16 Belgians have already been evacuated from Afghanistan by The Netherlands on a transport plane on its way to the Georgian capital Tbilisi, whilst France was also able to evacuate a Belgian from Kabul.