DALLAS – After a six-year hiatus, Yemen’s Sana’a International Airport (SAH) is re-opening with a scheduled flight by state carrier Yemenia (IY) on April 24.
Back in 2016, the Saudi-led Arab coalition halted air navigation services at SAH, with the exception of humanitarian flights belonging to the UN and other international organizations. As for the first flight after the pause, it will be to Amman (AMM), Jordan, operated by an Airbus A320.
“Good news for all travelers. Yemenia Airways announces one flight per week from Sanaa to Amman and back, beginning on April 24,” the airline stated on its Instagram.
The UN special envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, commented on the occasion, saying, “Congratulations to all Yemenis for this much-needed and long-awaited step,” Grundberg said.
“I’ll continue to work with the parties to ensure all the elements of the truce are upheld, and to build on its momentum towards a sustainable political solution to the conflict,” Grundberg added.
Sana’a International Airport
Sana’a International Airport is the main gateway into the country and it features a 3200m long runway. It is the hub for national airline Yemenia and low-cost carrier Felix Airways (FO). Sana’a was formerly served by several airlines, most from the Middle East, that operated scheduled services to destinations across the region, North Africa, and Europe.
SAH has suffered continuous troubles, including airstrikes, but is still the key entry point into Yemen and thus critical for aid operations. Ever since commercial traffic stopped back in 2006, the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations rely heavily on this airport to fly in aid workers and supplies that help several million people there.
A brief on Yemenia
What Yemenia is today was initially run by Yemen Airways back in the 1940s. In the late 1970s, Yemenia was created, with the majority stake held by the Yemen government.
All the while, the airline has operated a diverse fleet of aircraft, right from the Boeing 727, DHC-7, and An-26 to four Airbus A320-200s currently.
Yemenia currently has four Airbus A320-200s in its fleet. It did fly the A330-200, but there’s no clarity on whether it’s still part of the airline.
Featured image: Yemenia A320-200. Photo: Julian Schöpfer/Airways