After six-year blockade, Yemen's Sanaa airport is set to reopen with flights to Jordan

After six-year blockade, Yemen's Sanaa airport is set to reopen with flights to Jordan
Sanaa International Airport is set to reopen for the first time in six years, with a flight arriving from the Jordanian capital Amman this Sunday.
2 min read
21 April, 2022
Sanaa International Airport was forced to close during Yemen's devastating civil war [Getty]

Flights to and from Sanaa International Airport in Yemen's capital are set to resume on 24 April, according to a statement by the national carrier on Wednesday.

Yemenia Airways is planning to start flights to and from the Jordanian capital Amman, making them the airport's first commercial flights in six years.

A no-fly zone was established in Yemen by a Saudi-led Arab coalition, grounding civilian aircraft while Saudi-led air raids continued in northern Yemen.

The embargo on airports and ports severely affected the Yemeni economy and compounded difficulties for civilians.

"Good news for all travelers, the Yemenia Airways is announcing a weekly flight from Sana’a to Amman and back, beginning from Sunday 24 April," read a post on Yemenia's Instagram page.

"[The airline] commends the ceasefire agreement sponsored by the United Nations with the aim of alleviating the suffering of Yemeni youth."

A spokesperson for Yemenia Airways told The New Arab that the airport's reopening will "change everything" and "strengthen" the country’s ailing economy.

"It is an indescribable feeling and Yemenis are eagerly awaiting Sunday to see if the flights will really resume or not," the spokesperson added.

The airline is also hoping that flights from cities including Cairo, Jeddah, Dubai and Jakarta will begin soon.

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UN envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg welcomed the announcement in a statement on Twitter, and said he was "grateful" for Jordan's "invaluable support".

"Congratulations to all Yemenis for this much-needed and long-awaited step. I'll continue to work with the parties to ensure all elements of the Truce are upheld, and to build on its momentum towards a sustainable political solution to the conflict," he added.

Most civilian flights from the Sanaa airport ceased during the start of the Saudi-led coalition's intervention in Yemen in March 2015, with only sporadic humanitarian and evacuation flights allowed. The airport has also been the target of several bombardments by Saudi-led forces.

Houthi rebels have also been accused of besieging government towns such as Taiz.

The re-opening of the airport comes as an UN-brokered two-month ceasefire between the Saudi coalition and Houthi rebels began on 2 April, coinciding with the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

The port of Hodeida is also set to re-open following the truce.