Alaska Airlines is offering to operate military charter flights to help transport families and individuals from Afghanistan once they enter the U.S.
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines said it will provide transportation within the U.S. and stand ready to provide additional support to the Department of Defense, according to a Friday news release.
“As we see the heartbreaking images from Kabul and mourn the tragic loss of service members and civilians working to bring Americans home, we are humbled to play a small part in aiding those who have served our country,” the statement reads.
► Evacuations in Afghanistan: What to know about who’s going out, where are they going and more
► Afghan evacuee transportation: Defense secretary orders emergency use of 18 US commercial aircraft to transport Afghan evacuees
The announcement comes shortly after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the emergency use of 18 U.S. commercial aircraft from six airlines – American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, Omni Air, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines – to transport Afghan evacuees after they’re flown out of the capital city of Kabul.
Alaska Airlines noted that its charter operations are “confidential” and separate from the Department of Defense’s air fleet program.
More than 111,900 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since the Taliban seized Kabul on Aug. 14.
Contributing: Josh Rivera, USA TODAY. Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.