By NY Staff
Mohammed Al Mekhlafi, the commercial director for Yemenia Airway, denied KSA’s demands that the company pay accumulated dues that have reached an amount of 800 million dollars. The debt represents the total profits of KSA since 1978 when it took a share of 49% of the company’s capital. The government of Yemen had a share of 51%.
Al Mekhlafi said to National Yemen that the airline neither received an official report nor an oral one concerning this matter. He requested that news agencies and newspapers double check and consult their management before spreading any information. He said that news released without being supported by reliable sources is invalid and doesn’t represent the airways. Al Mekhlafi explained that Yemenia Airways doesn’t play any political role and is working hard to serve the passengers despite all that the country has been facing. He reported recently that KSA is demanding the money in response to an agreement signed with Iran to allow civil aviation between the two countries.
According to reports, the agreement between Iranian Aviation and Yemenia Airways allows a total of 14 trips per week for each company. However, according to Al Mekhlafi, this never happened.
According to the source, KSA hadn’t requested its dues since the founding of the company. He also pointed out that KSA started demanding the money in response to the recent agreement signed by the Houthis, who are currently controlling Yemen, with Iranian Aviation (Mahan Air).
Yemen Airways resumed its flights between Sana’a and Aden airports on Friday, after it had stopped it on Thursday due to the conflicts at the airport. Al Mekhlafi stated that Yemenia Airlines has managed to pay 70% of its debts. It’s also looking forward to expanding through operating into new terminals.
The airlines company is currently facing internal and financial crises and only has six airplanes, two of which are still new and are of the European Airbus type.
Another source from the airlines, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the company is suffering from financial deficit and debt accumulation. It’s also incapable of covering some expenses that are needed to repair old airplanes and examine new ones.
According to statements by Transport Minister Bader Mohammed Basalma, the total losses incurred by the company have reached an amount of 2.5 billion riyals (11 million dollars) during the year 2013. This is due to the shrink in its overall performance resulting from the lack of airplanes and the complications occurring in career inflation for many years.