First commercial flight departs from Sanaa airport after 6 years

Sanaa: The first commercial flight took off from the Houthi-controlled Sanaa International Airport in Yemen’s capital on Monday after a break of almost six years.

The first flight carrying 126 passengers, took off from the Sana’a International Airport to the Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan on Monday, May 16, at 9 am.

Earlier on Monday, the plane had arrived in Sanaa from the southern port city of Aden to pick up the passengers.

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This commercial flight was scheduled for the first time in six years, on April 24 to the Jordanian capital, Amman, but the Yemeni airline announced that it was postponed and not allowed to operate.

Since 2016, the Saudi-led Arab coalition had halted air navigation at Sanaa airport with the exception of humanitarian flights belonging to the UN and other international organisations.

On Friday, April 1, the UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, announced that the parties to the conflict have agreed to a two-month, extendable truce, which began on Saturday evening, April 2.

The parties accepted to halt all offensive military air, ground, and maritime operations inside Yemen and across its borders. They also agreed for fuel ships to enter Hudaydah ports and commercial flights to operate in and out of Sana’a airport, to predetermined destinations in the region.  

The Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, with the aim of restoring the government, but the conflict has long been mired in a deadlock.

Tens of thousands of civilians have died as a result of the conflict, which according to the UN has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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