US orders six commercial airlines to provide planes to transport Afghans and Americans in Middle East
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US orders six commercial airlines to provide planes to transport Afghans and Americans in Middle East

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American Airlines is one of six commercial airlines ordered to assist with evacuations from Afghanistan | Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III on Sunday activated stage 1 of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), ordering six commercial airlines to provide passenger planes to help evacuate people from US military bases in the Middle East, the Department of Defense said in a news release.

The planes won’t fly in or out of the Kabul airport in Afghanistan, but will help transport Afghans and US citizens who have arrived at bases in Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The plan calls for 18 planes total; four from United Airlines, three each from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Airlines, and Omni Air, and two from Hawaiian Airlines. The DoD said in the release it doesn’t expect the CRAF activation to have a major impact on…

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