Cairo, Aden resume direct flights after 5 month halt

Ahram Online , Tuesday 11 Aug 2015

Saudi Arabia closed airspace over Yemen and declared it a restricted zone as it waged its campaign against Houthi rebels in late March

Cairo Airport
A view of Cairo Airport (Photo: Courtesy of Cairo Airport website)

Yemeni airlines in Cairo resumed flights on Tuesday to Aden after almost a five-month suspension due to Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen, airport officials said.

Since the Saudi campaign began, commercial flights between Egypt and Yemen had been halted.

A commercial airliner left Cairo to Aden on Tuesday in what was the first direct passenger flight between the two cities in close to five months, airport officials told Aswat Masriya.

"The Yemeni flight left Cairo in the morning, with 151 Yemeni passengers on board, returning home," an official said.

Suspension of flights to the Arab world's war-torn country left an estimated 6,000 Yemeni nationals stranded in Egypt for weeks.

Flights to Yemen were permitted occasionally in late May, mostly carrying Yemenis who were visiting Egypt for medical treatment, stopping first in Saudi Arabia before continuing home.

Since the Saudi-led coalition began its airstrikes in March of this year, over 1,500 civilians have been killed, one million displaced, and millions risk facing famine due to the unrest, according to UN reports.

Egyptian air forces have been involved in the Saudi-led Arab coalition since strikes were first launched on 26 March against the Shia rebels who control several provinces in Yemen.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi recently extended the deployment of Egyptian troops abroad for another six months or "until combat missions end."

Yemen's president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has lived in exile in neighboring Saudi Arabia since the conflict began, held talks with El-Sisi in Cairo last week and was among a host of foreign leaders who attended the opening of the New Suez Canal.

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