Spanish military plane returns from Kabul airport half empty

by Sami Burgaz
Plane, with capacity of 110 passengers, reportedly managed to get just over 50 people on board.

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) – Spain completed its first Afghanistan evacuation mission Wednesday with a military plane that was able to pick up a little more than 50 people at Kabul airport, according to Spanish media reports.

The A400 military plane that flew to Kabul has a capacity of around 110 passengers.

The Spanish government said that on Thursday, the plane will return and will fly back to Afghanistan to pick up another round of Spanish citizens, local Afghan staff and their families who Spain has pledged to evacuate.

In total, the El Pais newspaper estimates that Spain will be trying to rescue as many as 600 people from the Taliban-controlled country.

While more people on Spain’s list like some security staff remain at the airport, no details have been released about how authorities plan to rescue those who would have to make their way through Taliban checkpoints to get to the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

“As things are, we won’t be able to go. If they call us and ask us to go to the airport, it will be impossible,” an interpreter who worked with Spain told El Pais on Wednesday. “We can’t put the lives of our families at risk.”

Another A400 is waiting for permission to fly into Kabul from Dubai, while a medical airplane departed Spain on Wednesday to assist the rescue mission.


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