21 August 2021 people familiar with the matter said the U.S. government plans to let major U.S. airlines help with the evacuation mission in Afghanistan.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter, that the U.S. government plans to increase the number of flights from the Afghan capital, Kabul, in preparation for several major airlines to help with the evacuation mission. Reported that the U.S. government intends to activate the Civil Reserve Air Force (CRAF), which was established in 1952 and includes nearly 20 commercial aircraft from five airlines.
Civilian aircraft will not fly in or out of Kabul, but will help transport thousands of Afghans and others stranded at U.S. military bases in Qatar, Bahrain and Germany, officials said. Reported that these bases are facing congestion as the United States stepped up efforts to evacuate personnel from Kabul airport. The Washington Post reported that the implementation of the plan still needs the approval of U.S. Defense Secretary Austin.
The U.S. has evacuated 17,000 people from Afghanistan in the past week, including 2,500 Americans, as the evacuations have intensified, according to data released at a U.S. Defense Department media briefing Tuesday. In the past 24 hours, 38 flights have left Afghanistan and some 3,800 people have been evacuated. U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he will evacuate all Americans who want to leave Afghanistan and Afghans who have helped the United States. But he said the evacuation was dangerous and did not guarantee a final outcome.
It is reported that the U.S. defense officials said on the 21st, because of the current security threat to Kabul International Airport and surrounding areas, the U.S. military is building an alternative route to the airport.