Kam Air (RQ, Kabul) has partially suspended operations after nine of its crew were shot dead during a Taliban attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in the in Bagh-e-Bala area of Kabul this past weekend that killed over twenty people.

The Afghan carrier's chief executive, Samadi Osman Samadi, told Deutsche Welle on Monday that 40 Kam Air staff were present in the hotel at the time the attack took place, many of them crew.

"Of the employees that were crew, nine of them were killed, including seven from Ukraine and the other two from Venezuela," he said.

Samadi said that given the psychological impact of the attack, the carrier has had to partially suspend operations with 15 of its usual 30 daily flights having been cancelled as of Monday, January 22.

"All of this is not good psychologically. A large number of them [those killed] were flight attendants, so a number of our flights will be cancelled," he said adding that it would take a long time for things to return to normal.

Kam Air operates an active fleet of one A340-300, one MD-83, two MD-87s, one B737-300 and two B737-500s (wet-leased from Ukrainian Wings), and two Saab 340Bs (wet-leased from Ukrainian operator Air Urga).

Volodymyr Kostenko, a director of Ukrainian Wings, told Reuters in a statement that four of its staff, two women and two men, were among those killed and that it would recall all of its remaining personnel still in Afghanistan.