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Etihad operates special flights to support repatriation of Afghans to third countries

Waheed Abbas /Abu Dhabi
waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 31, 2021
Photo: Wam

The UAE has facilitated the evacuation of over 28,000 individuals from Afghanistan


National carrier Etihad Airways is operating special flights from the UAE to support humanitarian efforts to relocate people from Afghanistan after the Taliban dethroned president Ashraf Ghani’s government in August.

The Abu Dhabi carrier said in a statement to Khaleej Times that around 1,000 people had been flown from the UAE as of August 30, on behalf of a number of governments, including the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Tens of thousands of people sought to relocate out of Afghanistan to other countries following the Taliban's takeover of Kabul earlier this month.

On August 20, the UAE agreed to host 5,000 Afghan nationals evacuated from Afghanistan and on their way to third countries. The UAE has facilitated the evacuation of over 28,000 individuals from Afghanistan. This is in addition to 8,500 evacuees coming to the UAE via national carriers and UAE airports since the beginning of August.

However, the UAE said it would stop facilitating all evacuation operations from Kabul on August 31 with the withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan.

Currently, commercial flights are suspended to and from Afghanistan due to the volatile situation in the Asian country. A suicide bomb blast outside Kabul International Airport last week killed 170 people and wounded over 200 others.

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"Etihad is operating special flights on behalf of a number of governments, including Australia, New Zealand and the United States, to support relief efforts to relocate people from Afghanistan. By the end of this week, we will have flown around 2,000 passengers,” Etihad Airways spokesperson said in a statement.

“This is an incredibly challenging situation and we continue to work with multiple governments on this. We are pleased that Etihad is able to assist with this humanitarian effort,” said the statement.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

Waheed Abbas





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