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Pentagon orders emergency use of 18 US commercial aircraft to transport Afghan evacuees 

The commercial aircraft will reportedly be used to move passengers from way stations once they leave Kabul, allowing the U.S. military to focus on the Afghanistan portion of the evacuation.

Published: 22nd August 2021 05:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2021 05:42 PM   |  A+A-

In this Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 file photo hundreds of people gather near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane along the perimeter at the international airport in Kabul.

In this Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 file photo hundreds of people gather near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane along the perimeter at the international airport in Kabul. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said Sunday, August 22, 2021, that it is formally seeking airlift help from commercial airlines to relocate evacuees from Afghanistan once they have gotten out of their country.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has activated the initial stage of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program, asking for 18 aircraft: three each from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines and Omni Air; two from Hawaiian Airlines; and four from United Airlines.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the Department does not anticipate a major impact to commercial flights from this activation.

According to Kirby, those aircraft will not fly into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. They will be used to move passengers from way stations once they leave Kabul, allowing the U.S. military to focus on the Afghanistan portion of the evacuation.



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