Home Air US evacuates 800 people from Kabul in single C-17 cargo jet flight

US evacuates 800 people from Kabul in single C-17 cargo jet flight

C-17 Kabul mission
US Air Force file photo of a C-17 Globemaster III

A US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III appears to have pulled of an amazing feat of evacuating 800 passengers from the US, and other embassies in Kabul, in a single flight.

Open source intelligence (OSINT) analysts were the first to pick up on the flight in the early morning hours of August 16, just hours after Taliban effectively took control of the last government-controlled city in Afghanistan.

What makes the flight special is the fact that the C-17 is designed to transport 134 troops in addition to other cargo. With that number of passengers on board, the 53-meter long plane is actually close to its maximum payload of 170,900 pounds, or 77,500 kilograms.

The flight was one of many carried out by US and allied forces since the early morning hours on August 15. On the same day, Taliban entered Kabul and took control of the city.

Shortly after taking Kabul, the militant group said it would announce the establishment of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” in the capital.

Meanwhile, major airlines have started rerouting flights to avoid Afghanistan airspace. Several major airlines confirmed they were not using Afghanistan airspace, with flight tracking websites showing many planes overflying neighboring Pakistan and Iran instead.