An official from Sana’a International Airport, who did not want to reveal his name, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that a plane belonging to Yemen’s national airline, Yemenia Airways, took off to go to King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Noting that the said flight was the first commercial flight to Saudi Arabia since 2016, the official noted that the plane carried 275 Yemenis who set out to fulfill the pilgrimage obligation.
Since 2016, flights to Amman, the capital of Jordan, have been possible only in 2022 from Sana’a International Airport.
In a written statement from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia, it was stated that the decision for Yemeni pilgrim candidates to come directly from Sanaa Airport to King Abdulaziz Airport was taken upon the instruction of King Salman bin Abdulaziz in order to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.
Those who wanted to go on pilgrimage and umrah from Yemen since 2015 had to use alternative air and land routes outside Sanaa Airport due to the civil war.
In Yemen, the Iranian-backed Houthis have been in control of the capital Sana’a and some regions since September 2014. Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia have been supporting the Yemeni government against the Houthis since March 2015.