Pentagon activates American commercial airlines to assist Afghan evacuations

The Pentagon said the commercial aircraft will not fly into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul but rather wound transport evacuees from other locations.

Updated: August 22, 2021 - 8:21am

The Pentagon on Sunday activated the Civil Reserve Air Fleet and engaged U.S. commercial airlines to help with the evacuation of Americans and refugees from Afghanistan.

American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Airlines, Omni Air, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines will provide aircraft to support the evacuation of U.S. citizens and personnel, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan, Department of Defense officials said.  

The Pentagon said the commercial aircraft will not fly into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul but rather wound transport evacuees from other locations.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said officials do not anticipate major impacts from the operation to commercial flights since only about 20 aircraft are involved.