FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Fort Worth-based American Airlines is being enlisted to help with the evacuation of refugees in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Department of Defense notified American Airlines that it has activated Stage 1 of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF).
In a statement released Sunday, airline officials said starting Monday, American Airline will be ready to deploy three widebody aircrafts to military bases and other secure transit points on the Arabian Peninsula and in Europe to assist with the emergency evacuation of U.S. citizens and refugees.
"American is part of the CRAF program and is proud to fulfill its duty to help the U.S. military scale this humanitarian and diplomatic rescue mission. The images from Afghanistan are heartbreaking. The airline is proud and grateful of our pilots and flight attendants, who will be operating these trips to be a part of this life-saving effort."
American Airlines stated they will "work to minimize the impact to customers as the airline temporarily removes these aircraft from our operation. The airline appreciates customers' patience and understanding as it works to accommodate flights."
CEO Doug Parker also posted a statement to his Instagram Sunday afternoon:
"The news and images out of Afghanistan have been truly heartbreaking. As a global airline, our purpose is to care for people on life's journey, and as part of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, the #AATeam will help the U.S. military scale their humanitarian and diplomatic rescue missions with three of our widebody aircraft. We are proud of and humbled by the pilots and flight attendants who are volunteering for flights to and from the Arabian Peninsula and Europe, and are committed to caring for and safely carrying our fellow citizens and Afghans who have put their lives on the line to assist the U.S. This is a challenging time and, like always, we are stronger when we come together around a common purpose and work together for the greater good."
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