Yemeni Hajj Pilgrims Head To Saudi Arabia In First Flight From Sana’a Airport


A first group of Yemeni pilgrims on Saturday left Sana’a International Airport to perform the Hajj pilgrimage and Umrah for the current year 1444 AH via a Yemen Airways plane carrying 268 people on board, marking the latest sign of easing tensions after more than eight years of a Saudi-led aggression against Yemen.

A press conference was held at Sana’a Airport attended by the Ministers of Guidance, Transport and Works, Charge d’Affaires of Yemen Airways Khalil Jahaf and Sana’a International Airport Director Khaled Al-Shayef.

At the press conference, the Minister of Transport affirmed the interest of the Supreme Political Council in the endeavour and their follow-up of the travel of pilgrims through Sana’a International Airport, facilitating their travel and securing their property.

“Today, the first group of pilgrims to the Holy Land was inaugurated and all facilities were provided to them,” he said.

He pointed out that pilgrims are supposed to be sent through Sana’a airport, as they represent most of those registered in Hajj and Umrah offices from Sana’a and nearby governorates, while the Saudi-led coalition and its mercenaries in Aden continued to delay until they allowed only three flights in total. Al-Durra also said that it was agreed to send pilgrims back, after the completion through Sana’a airport.

He revealed arrangements for the operation of Al-Saeeda Airlines for the return of the pilgrims registered through land transport by transferring their tickets by air to Sana’a airport to facilitate their return and ensure their safety, calling once again for the full opening of Sana’a airport and the return of all flights as they were before the aggression.

“Before the aggression, the number of flights from Sanaa airport per day was about 50 flights at a rate, carrying five thousand passengers, which is a legal and international right legitimised by international laws and conventions,” he said.

The minister also touched on the murders and looting the incidents that travelers have been subjected to for eight years through unsafe roads in the southern governorates.

He stressed that the Ministry of Transport as well as all other concerned ministries will continue to follow up until the opening of new destinations, especially Egypt and India, where the rate of understandings reached 80% with the aviation authorities in Cairo and Delhi, which contributes to alleviating the suffering of sick passengers, students, expatriates and those stranded abroad.

For his part, the Minister of Guidance and Hajj and Umrah Affairs reviewed the dangers to which pilgrims were exposed during the previous years as a result of their movement by land through unsafe and rough roads.

“Pilgrims leave Sana’a and travel two thousand kilometres, so there have been accidents and deaths due to the bumpy and unsafe road,” he said.

He expressed the hope that the opening of Sana’a International Airport to the pilgrims will be a good sign for the opening of Yemeni airports, foremost of which is Sana’a Airport for travelers, pilgrims, patients and others, stressing that they are purely humanitarian aspects.

The minster affirmed that the interest of the revolutionary leadership and the Supreme Political Council is to alleviate the suffering of pilgrims and working on their air travel to secure their lives and property.

For his part, the Minister of Public Works and Roads explained that flights through Sana’a airport for pilgrims represent only a small number of the tens of thousands of pilgrims who left by land and incurred the dangers of roads.

He pointed out that there are supposed to be 200 flights, as the number of Yemeni pilgrims reached 24,000.

For their part, a number of pilgrims expressed their happiness with the opening of Sana’a Airport to facilitate their departure to the Holy Land, thanking the revolutionary leadership and the Supreme Political Council for the efforts made to transport them to the holy sites through Sana’a airport.