Yemen’s Houthis Say Allowed Temporary Resumption of UN Humanitarian Flights to Sanaa Airport

By Reuters
December 27, 2021 Updated: December 27, 2021

CAIRO—The aviation authority run by the Houthi administration in Yemen has allowed temporary resumption of flights by the United Nations and other organizations to Sanaa international airport on Monday, the Houthi-run Saba news agency said.

The Iran-aligned Houthi movement said earlier this month that the capital’s airport had been put out of operation after air strikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

The coalition said it only attacked military targets at the airport, from where drone strikes have been launched against Saudi targets.

The coalition said that the strikes it had carried would have no effect on operational capacity, airspace management, air traffic, or ground handling operations.

The airport has been closed to civilian flights since 2015, after the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed government from Sanaa, although U.N. planes have been permitted to land there.

The Houthis have at times claimed that Saudi Arabia was enforcing a blockade on Yemen ports and Sanaa airport, worsening the growing humanitarian crisis—claims which Saudi Arabia has denied.

The Houthi-run aviation authority said in a statement on Monday it allowed the resumption of the U.N. aid flights “after the malfunctions in communications and navigational devices were temporarily fixed,” the agency report said.

The authority complained that it could not guarantee the long-term continuity of these old devices, and urged the U.N. to help the entry of new devices that it had purchased, it added.