Sanaa: The Houthi militia in Yemen has confirmed that the first commercial flight between Sanaa and Cairo will take off on Wednesday after a gap of six years.
“The office of UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg has confirmed in a letter to the (Houthi-controlled) ministry of transportation in Sanaa that the first passenger flight in years from Sanaa to Cairo, as well as a return flight, is scheduled for June 1,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV as saying.
On May 16, the war-torn country’s first commercial flight in six years took off from Sanaa, the Houthi-held Yemeni capital to Amman, Jordan, marking significant progress in the country’s ongoing UN-borkered truce.
On August 9, 2016, the Saudi-led coalition imposed restrictions on Yemen’s airspace, resulting in the closure of the Sanaa airport.
After that, only planes of a few international organisations were allowed to enter the Sanaa airport, which used to be the largest hub in the country for international travel.
Under the UN’s auspices, Yemen’s warring parties entered the two-month ceasefire on April 2, which includes allowing commercial flights to and from Sanaa and the entry of fuel ships into the Houthi-held port of Hodeidah, and lifting the siege of the government-held Taiz city.
According to the UN, a total of 12 fuel ships carrying around 340,000 tonnes of fuel have so far been allowed by the Yemeni government into the Hodeidah port since the beginning of the truce.
The warring parties have largely held the truce, but they have yet to reach a final agreement on lifting the siege of Taiz city.
The truce marks the first breakthrough in years to end the war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed government out of Sanaa.