By Asma al-Mohattwari
On March 1st, a Mahan Air plane arrived in Sana’a International Airport at 1:30 pm. It was the first direct flight from the Iranian airline coming from Tehran to Sana’a. An official source at Sana’a International Airport said that the Iranian plane was loaded with pharmaceutical aid.
Another source said that the arrivals were only the crew and the Iranian Red Crescent mission providing Yemen with medical aid of 12 tons of tents and medicines. The plane left with a governmental, political and economic Yemeni delegation to discuss ways of cooperation.
Meanwhile, the Houthi rebels who control Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, signed an agreement with Iranian authorities in Tehran to set up direct flights between the two countries, the nation’s official news agency reported.
The memorandum of understanding between aviation officials from the two countries called for 14 flights per week from each side, according to the SABA news agency, controlled by the Houthis. Officials also discussed training for Yemenis in the aviation sector.
The websites of the Iranian and Yemeni national airlines indicated there were currently no flights between the two countries.
The Houthi militias seized Yemen’s capital in September, which eventually led President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee the past month to Aden where he is seeking to set up a rival power center.