|Founded||1962 (current AOC)|
|Hubs||Sana'a International Airport|
|Focus cities||Aden International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Yemenia Sama Club|
|Parent company||Government of Yemen|
|Key people||Ahmed Massoud Alwani|
Yemenia (Arabic: اليمنية) is the national airline of Yemen, based in Sana'a. It operates scheduled domestic and international passenger flights to destinations in Africa and the Middle East, as well as to Asia and Europe out of its hubs at Sana'a International Airport, and to a smaller extent Aden International Airport. Yemenia is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization. As of 30 March 2015, the airline was forced to suspend all operations until further notice, mainly due to the current bombings in Yemen that also damaged Sana'a International Airport.
When the Yemen Arab Republic was proclaimed in 1962, Yemen Airlines was issued a new airline licence on 4 August of that year (which remains valid until today), thus becoming the flag carrier of the country, with its head office in the Ministry of Communication Building in Sana'a. In 1967, the airline entered a co-operation with United Arab Airlines, which lasted until 1972. During that period, it was known as Yemen Arab Airlines.
In July 1972, the Yemen Airways branding was launched, which coincided with the company being nationalized. In 1977, Saudi Arabia acquired a 49 percent stake in the airline. The current name Yemenia was adopted on 1 July 1978.
When South Yemen was united with the Yemen Arab Republic to form today's Yemen in 1990, plans were made to form a single national airline by merging South Yemen's Alyemda into Yemenia. To achieve this, the shares held by Saudi Arabia were bought back by the government of Yemen in 1992. On 11 February 1996, the merger could be completed, which led to a significant part of the employees of the two airlines losing their jobs.
Development since the 2000s
Since 2008, a number of safety actions by the European Union have been taken against Yemenia because of alleged poor maintenance standards in Yemen. In July 2009, France suspended the airworthiness certificates of two Yemenia Airbus A310 aircraft that were registered in the country. In the same month, the European Aviation Safety Agency withdrew the maintenance approval that had been issued to Yemenia, which forced Yemenia to suspend all flights to Europe.
European services to Frankfurt were relaunched in December 2009. Since then, systematic inspections of Yemenia aircraft parked at EU airports are carried out, in order to assess and verify the safety standards. On 20 January 2010, then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that, owing to concerns of terrorist activity in Yemen, flights between the UK and the country would be suspended, as long as the security situation would not improve. Over the following months, Yemenia again cut flights to Europe. As of 2011, Frankfurt is the only destination still served.
The head office is located in the Hassaba District, in Downtown Sana'a, however the building was destroyed by fire during fighting in May 2011. On 3 June 2011, during the 2011 Yemeni revolution, the building was again set on fire.
On 30 March 2015, Yemenia was forced to suspend all flight operations under further notice due to the ongoing military conflict affecting its homebase at Sana'a International Airport. In August 2015, Yemenia reinstated flights to Aden International Airport, with the first flight originating from Saudi Arabia.
As of May 2015, Yemenia has an all-Airbus fleet that consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 14.5 years:
The first Airbus A330-200 entered the fleet in 2004 on lease from International Lease Finance. In 2008, during the Dubai Air Show, the carrier signed a contract for the purchase of ten Airbus A350-800s. In November 2009, Yemenia signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for USD 700 million that covered ten Airbus A320s; the order was firmed up in January 2010. The first Airbus A320 joined the fleet in April 2011.
|de Havilland Canada DHC-6||Unknown|
Incidents and accidents
|Wikinews has related news: Yemeni passenger plane with 150 people on board crashes into Indian Ocean|
The by far worst accident in the history of the company occurred on 30 June 2009, when Yemenia Flight 626 from Sana'a to Moroni, Comoros crashed into the sea shortly before landing. Of the 142 passengers and eleven crew that had been on the Airbus A310-300 with the registration 7O-ADJ, only a 12-year-old girl, Bahia Bakari, was recovered, alive and conscious, although suffering from extreme tiredness and hypothermia, cuts to her face and a fractured collar-bone.
There were a number of further incidents and accidents:
- On 3 November 1958, a Yemen Airlines (as the company was named at that time) Douglas C-47 Skytrain (registered YE-AAB) crashed near Poggiodomo in Italy, killing the eight people on board. The aircraft had been on a flight from Rome Ciampino Airport to Yemen with a planned stopover at Belgrade, carrying the Yemenite Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
- On 19 March 1969, a Yemen Airlines C-47 (registered 4W-AAS) crashed near Ta'izz during a post-maintenance test flight, killing the four occupants. It turned out that the elevator of the aircraft did work properly. Repair work had been done on that part, because it had been damaged some days earlier in a ground collision.
- On 16 September 1971, another Yemen Airlines C-47 (registered 4W-ABI) crashed near Rajince, Serbia when it encountered severe icing conditions, killing the five people on board. The aircraft had been on a multi-stopover flight from Yemen to Europe and had just departed Belgrade Airport.
- On 1 November 1972, a Yemen Airlines Douglas DC-3 (registered 4W-ABJ) was destroyed in a crash-landing at an airfield near Beihan.
- On 25 August 1973, a Yemen Airlines Douglas DC-6 was hijacked during a passenger flight from Ta'izz to Asmara. The perpetrator forced the pilots to divert the aircraft with fifteen other passenger and six crew members on board to Kuwait Airport, for which a refueling stop at Djibouti Airport turned out to be necessary. In Kuwait, the hijacker surrendered to local police forces.
- On 13 December 1973, a Yemen Airlines DC-3 (registered 4W-ABR) crashed near Ta'izz.
- On 23 February 1975, a Yemen Airlines DC-3 was hijacked during a flight from Al Hudaydah to Sana'a and forced to land at an airport in Saudi Arabia. There, the aircraft was stormed and the perpetrator overpowered.
- On 14 November 1978, a Yemen Airlines C-47 (registered 4W-ABY) was damaged beyond repair in a heavy landing at an airfield near Ma'rib.
- On 26 June 2000, a Yemenia Boeing 737-200C, registered 7O-ACQ, was damaged beyond repair when it veered off the runway upon landing at Khartoum International Airport following a cargo flight from Yemen.
- On 21 January 2001, Yemenia Flight 448, a Boeing 727-200 with 91 passengers and 10 crew on board, was hijacked 15 minutes into a flight from Sana'a to Ta'izz by an Iraqi man. The plane was forced to land at Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport, where the perpetrator was overpowered by the crew.
- On 1 August 2001, a Boeing 727-200 (registered 7O-ACW) was damaged beyond economic repair when it overran the runway upon landing at Asmara International Airport following a flight from Sana'a with 107 passengers and four crew on board, none of whom were significantly injured.
- In March 2015, a Boeing 747SP 7O-YMN which was operated in Yemenia branding for Yemen Govt. was damaged by gun fire during a militia attack at Aden airport, a subsequent blaze destroyed the aircraft completely.
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- Yemenia 747SP destroyed in Aden
Media related to Yemenia at Wikimedia Commons