Airlines, industry executives donating 20,000 flights to Afghan evacuees

Airlines, industry executives donating 20,000 flights to Afghan evacuees
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Major airlines and travel industry executives will be donating 20,000 flights to get Afghan refugees to their final destinations in the U.S., organizers of the effort announced Tuesday.

United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, the Boeing Company, Frontier Airlines, Air Canada and the Tripadvisor Foundation will contribute over 20,000 airline tickets for evacuees, organizers Welcome.US and Miles4Migrants said in a statement.

The contributions match an additional 20,000 flights that have already been "donated by the American people" since August through frequent flyer miles and credit card points 

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Overall, Welcome.US and Miles4Migrants are looking to secure 70,000 flights, or 1 billion airline miles, to address travel needs for Afghan refugees as they relocate throughout the U.S.

The U.S. officially withdrew from Afghanistan on Aug. 31, ending the 20-year-conflict in the nation. The Biden administration evacuated more than 124,000 people, most of whom were Afghan allies and political refugees.

There are 53,000 refugees across eight military bases in the U.S., Pentagon press secretary John KirbyJohn KirbyOvernight Defense & National Security — US, Russia meet during 'critical' point US sends aircraft carrier group to Mediterranean as Russia threat looms Lawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine MORE told reporters on Monday. So far, close to 6,700 have been released for resettlement.  

United will donate 7,000 flights, and American will donate 6,000 flights, Welcome.US and Miles4Migrants said.

Boeing and JetBlue will each provide about 2,500 flights, while Alaska Airlines will contribute 1,500 flights. Delta Airlines will donate nearly 700 flights. 

Miles4Migrants, which uses donated frequent flyer miles and credit card points to help migrants impacted by war, has already flown more than 3,000 Afghan refugees, the company said.

Welcome.US is a nonpartisan effort launched last month designed to be a “single point of entry” for Americans who want to help Afghan refugees.