Yemen to send planes to rescue stranded citizens

Yemen to send planes to rescue stranded citizens
Yemeni officials hired planes to transport citizens stranded in several cities in the region, local media reported on Saturday, after Yemen Airways' flights were repeatedly cancelled without reason.
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The war forced thousands of Yemenis to flee the country [AFP]
Yemeni authorities hired planes to transport citizens stranded in several cities and airports across the region, local media reported on Saturday, after the national carrier cancelled dozens of flights without warning.

Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Dajer of the Aden-based government led by Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi said he contacted Yemen Airways chairman and stressed the importance of transporting those stranded home.

He put the particular importance on the safe repatriation of injured Yemenis and stressed that there should be no increase in ticket prices.

"Some 1,200 Yemenis have been stuck at Cairo airport since last Thursday, and some of them have not been able to leave the airport terminal as a result of the cancellation of flights after the departure of Airbus 310 from Yemen," said General Director of the Yemeni air transport Mazen Ghanem.

Ghanem said about a thousand other passengers had been waiting in Aden for several days to travel to Cairo, despite obtaining confirmation for their reservation.

Five hundred others are also stranded at an airport in the south-east of the country, facing delays and additional costs due to Hadi-government run airline's errors.

Meanwhile, dozens more have been stranded in the Sudanese capital since Saturday, after Yemen Airways cancelled flights between Khartoum and Sanaa without providing a reason.

Last Sunday, Yemen Airways canceled regular flights from Cairo to Sayoun airport in Hadramout, in the east of the country.

Yemeni students said they were stuck at Khartoum airport after their flights were cancelled for the third time despite confirmation of their booking a week earlier.

Activists on social networking sites launched a campaign against the Yemeni airline, calling for a lawsuit against its board of directors over the delay of the flights.

Campaigners say Yemen Airways has become the world's most expensive airline with tickets from Aden to Cairo costing a $1,000. Despite the huge costs for customers, the activists claim that the airline shows little no interest in using the money on the its fleet.

Only two airports remain functioning in Yemen - Aden and Sayoun - after the country sunk into chaos with the Saudi-led military intervention in March 2015.

Yemen's largest airport, Sanaa International Airport, fell into the hands of Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh after they captured the capital and other cities in September 2014.