SANAA: Yemen’s national carrier has suspended international flights from the country’s capital, officials have said, citing a dispute with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels over access to funds.

Yemenia operates near-daily commercial flights to the Jordanian capital Amman — its only direct international destination from Sanaa’s Houthi-controlled airport which reopened last year following a six-year hiatus.

On Saturday, an official with the Houthi transport ministry told the rebel’s Saba news agency that “Yemenia flights have been suspended from Sanaa airport”.

In a statement, the airline blamed the rebels for the move, accusing them of restricting access to company accounts in Sanaa banks since March — a charge the Houthis have denied. Yemenia said it was barred from accessing more than $80 million in deposits, causing “severe damage to the company’s activity”.

It said its six flights per week from Sanaa to Amman would stop after the end of Septem­ber “in light of the company not being allowed to withdraw from its accounts”. The airline will continue, however, to operate flights from Aden — the current seat of the internationally-recognised government.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2023

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