The world’s largest aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has arranged more than 110 flights to transport a total of almost 25,000 passengers out of Afghanistan and the surrounding region since troubles began several months ago.
Speaking on the situation, ACS’s Group commercial jets director, Matthew Purton said, “Over the last few months we had performed more than 20 flights directly out of Kabul for several governments, with around 4,500 passengers in total on board. Our cargo division also arranged flights for more than 300 tons of relief goods to fly into the Afghan capital and Mazar-i-Sharif, including medical kits and food supplies. We had a large number of future flights booked, however, when the Taliban seized control of the airport on 14th August all of these had to be cancelled. At this point, military aircraft were used to ferry people to hub airports in nearby Middle East countries, such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE.
“But from there they still needed onward transportation to their final destinations. This is where we came in again – we arranged a further 89 flights, taking the evacuees to where they needed to get to around the world. So far, in addition to those flown out of Kabul, we have arranged transportation for 20,000 evacuees out of the Middle East.
“Of the reported 123,000 people that were evacuated from Afghanistan, we have aided, by our calculations, more than 15% of that total since the 14th August. Not only this, but since then we have also managed to gain certain exemptions to allow cargo flights back into Afghanistan with a further 150 tons of relief goods. This has become the largest passenger humanitarian mission in which we have been involved and something we are proud to have helped in.”