U.S. weighs ordering commercial airlines to help in Afghanistan evacuation efforts

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division patrol Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 17, 2021. Picture taken August 17, 2021.

U.S. Air Force | Reuters

The Biden administration has told commercial U.S. airlines that it could order them to help in the Afghanistan evacuation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

U.S. officials informed several of the country’s major commercial carriers Friday that it is considering activating the Civil Reserve Air Fleet to help bolster airlift, the person said, adding that the flights wouldn’t be from Afghanistan itself but from other locations. That could include flying individuals who are stranded at U.S. bases in Germany, Qatar and Bahrain, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

The White House and the Defense Department didn’t immediately comment to CNBC.

Several U.S. airlines had volunteered earlier in the week to help with the airlift of evacuees, the person told CNBC.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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