Local News

Yemenis Are Stuck In World Airports

National Yemen

Cairo Airport

Faroq al-Kamali

An official source at the Yemeni Civil Aviation Authority said that hundreds of Yemenis are stuck in world airports as a result of the air and sea ban on the country after the beginning of operation Decisive Storm. Hundreds of Yemenis are now being held at Cairo and Amman airports.

In light of security incidents taking place in Yemen, last Thursday the Egyptian and Jordanian authorities issued decisions prevent the entry of Yemenis without visas and security approval after Yemenis were found to be entering these countries without any visas.

Mohammed Amin, a passenger, said that he was returning from Japan to Yemen via Egypt, but they stopped him at the Cairo airport. Egyptian authorities did not allow him to enter, and he has remained with his family at the Cairo airport for 26 hours.

Ghamdan al-Yousoufi, a Yemeni stuck in Cairo, said that more than 250 Yemenis coming from Arab and foreign airports are detained at the Cairo airport. Authorities took their mobile phones, laptops and all communication means without giving any reasons.

The Egyptian Migration Board issued a mandate to all Egyptian airports requiring Yemenis to have visas and security approvals. The mandate was applied on Thursday in all airports and seaports, with the exception of Yemenis who are married to Egyptian women, or whose mothers are Egyptian.

A source at Sana’a International Airport confirmed that tens of people are being held in Sana’a airport, mostly in ambulatory situations that require transfers abroad, including students and traders. In addition, the UN Mission staff consisting of 170 employees have been stuck in Sana’a airport since Friday morning and have not been able leave. “They sent a call to the Saudi authorities, and the Saudi Defense Minister sent three planes to transport them to Addis Ababa, but the Houthis prevented them,” the source said.

Saudi Arabia owns 49% of Yemenia Airways Company, while the Yemeni government owns 51%. The source explained that cancellation of flights came in the interests of the company and passengers’ safety, especially in light of the security situation deteriorating in the country.

An official source at Sana’a International Airport said that flights in and out of the airport are still stopped after of Saudi Arabia and several Arab states started military strikes on the Houthis in Yemen.

“Yemeni Airlines and other airlines canceled dozens of flights in and out the airport, which cost the company millions of dollars,” the source said.

The planes of the ten alliance states, led by Saudi Arabia, have continued their military strikes in Yemen that started on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia said that they come in response to Yemeni President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s call for militarily intervention to protect Yemen and its people from Houthi militias.

The military operation led by Saudi Arabia has caused civil aviation traffic to stop in southern Saudi Arabia as well. Due to the deteriorating situation in Yemen, Egypt Air and Gulf Air have stopped their flights to Yemen.