SEATTLE — Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is helping the U.S. military with the ongoing evacuation missions in Afghanistan.
The airline said it would operate military transport flights within the United States to provide additional transportation for people who were evacuated from Afghanistan.
Alaska Airlines said it “stands ready to provide additional support to the Department of Defense in their mission.”
“We are proud to support our military service members and grateful to all our employees who have served our country around the world, many of whom have reached out to offer their assistance during this time of need. Our values drive us to do the right thing and be kind-hearted, and we will bring this same sense of service to these operations and those we welcome on board as our guests,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement.
The Pentagon announced earlier this week it was seeking help from commercial airlines to relocated relocate evacuees from Afghanistan once they have been taken out of the country by military aircraft.
On Sunday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin activated the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program and asked for 18 aircraft: three each from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines and Omni Air. And two from Hawaiian Airlines; along with four from United Airlines.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the department does not anticipate a major impact to commercial flights from this activation.
Alaska Airlines said the charter operations announced Friday were “confidential and separate from the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program and related activations.” It is unknown how many Alaska Airlines aircraft will be used for transportation.
This isn’t the first time Alaska Airlines has supported humanitarian efforts. The company helped with the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and helped airlift thousands of Yemenite Jews to Israel in 1949.