Yemen's national airline, Yemenia, has suspended its entire flights from and to Yemen's capital Sanaa for the whole month of October in response to the Houthi administration blocking the carrier from withdrawing its funds in Sanaa banks for the six last months, Yemeni sources working in the traveling sector told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Yemenia halted the flights after negotiations with the Houthis failed to secure the release of airline funds, which executives at the carrier said amounted to $80 million.
Normally, the Yemeni airline schedules its flights to and from Sanaa Airport in the second half of September.
The sources explained that travel offices had been waiting for two weeks to receive the new flight schedule before they were informed on Friday that the company had suspended all its flights.
Yemenia said in a statement that it had been unable to withdraw its funds in Sanaa banks for several months. It called on the Houthi authorities to lift restrictions “illegally” imposed on its assets.
The company added that it was aware of the latest political developments in the country and the recent and important changes. The war that has been going on for seven years had and continues to affect the company’s activity as the only national carrier, which acted objectively facing the country’s tensions, it said.
Also, Yemenia had proposed the Houthi administration take 70 percent of the funds while the remaining 30 percent would go to the internationally recognized government, it said.
The Houthi administration rejected the offer which was when the airline decided to suspend flights to Jordan, the company added.
In the past months, Yemenia had also tried to rely on its other internal resources and added three additional flights between Amman and Sanaa airports as a goodwill move.
“We again received a request to operate from Sanaa airport without being allowed to withdraw from the company’s assets, which causes us additional and significant harm,” it added.
The company has reiterated the need to remain neutral in any political conflict so that it can properly carry out its functions, noting that its funds in the Sanaa banks have exceeded $80 million.