What is the National Airline of Yemen?

Editorial credit: Mehdi Photos / Shutterstock.com.
Editorial credit: Mehdi Photos / Shutterstock.com.

Yemenia operates as Yemen's national airline from its base in Sana'a. The airline's networks are local as well as in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The airline is among the members of the Arab Air Carriers Organization. Yemenia had to halt its operations in 2015 because of the bombings in Yemen which caused damage to the international airport in Sana'a.


Ahmad bin Yahya, who served as the King of the Yemeni territory from 1948 to 1962, founded Yemen Airlines in the latter half of 1940. Yemen Airlines was given a new airline license in 1962 upon proclamation of the Yemen Arab Republic. The airline signed cooperation with the United Arab Airlines in 1967, and until 1972 it was called the Yemen Arab Airlines. The company was nationalized in 1972, and it was branded the Yemen Airways. The term Yemenia was adopted on July 1, 1978. South Yemen's Alyemda was merged with Yemenia on the integration of the two territories to create the current Yemen. The merger, completed in 1996, resulted in the loss of jobs for a significant number of employees contracted by the two airlines.

Recent History

The European Union has implemented several safety actions against the airline since 2008 and attributed them to the alleged non-satisfactory standards in the country. France, for example, suspended the airworthiness certifications of two of the airline's Airbus A310 aircraft whose registration was done in the country. Yemenia was forced to halt its operations to Europe when the European Aviation Safety Agency suspended the maintenance approval awarded to the airline. Yemenia aircraft are routinely inspected once they park in any EU airports. Britain suspended its operations with the airline in 2010 over terrorist activity in Yemen. Yemenia's head office situated in Sana'a has been damaged by fire twice. Yemenia had to halt its operations on March 30, 2015, due to military conflict.


The airline resumed services to Aden International Airport in August 2015, with the initial flight flying from Saudi Arabia. The airline flies to King Khalid and King Abdulaziz International Airports in Saudi Arabia. Yemenia also flies to Jordan, Egypt, and India. Some of the routes included in the airline's previous operations remain suspended. Yemenia's network is extended via codeshare flights which are operated by Felix Airways.


Yemenia is in possession of an all-Airbus fleet and two Airbus A320-200s in addition to two Airbus A310-300s operated as of March 2015. Yemenia agreed to a 2008 contract for the acquisition of ten Airbus A350-800s. This contract was followed by an MOU between the airline and Airbus for a total of $700 million for ten Airbus A320s, an order which was confirmed at the beginning of 2010. One Airbus A320 joined the airline's fleet in April 2011.


The most notable of the airline's accidents took place on June 30, 2009. The Yemenia Flight 626 plunged into the Indian Ocean. The flight was destined for Comoros, and the crash occurred off Grand Comore's north coast. Rescue teams arriving at the scene discovered a lone survivor out of the total 153 people on board. The accident's trigger was traced to an aerodynamic stall.


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