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Yemen Airways flight banned from carrying passengers took off and broke down mid-flight Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Yemen Airways flight banned from carrying passengers took off and broke down mid-flight

Activists say the national airliner has deteriorated after more than two-years of war [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 June, 2017

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More than 180 passengers on board a Yemen Airways flight survived a potential tragedy on Thursday, after an 'unfit' plane, returned to Aden following an engine failure.
A Yemen Airways flight which was due for maintenance and prohibited from accepting passengers, took off from Aden International Airport carrying more than 180 people on board before being ordered to return due to an engine failure on Thursday.

The A310, which was not fit to carry passengers, took off from the southern coastal city on Thursday with 188 people on board, and flew across the Red Sea before one of its engine ceased working, maritime sources said.

The incident, which hits Yemen's only functioning airlines amid more than two-years of war, triggered public and government outrage after reports emerged suggesting the airlines was pressured to go ahead with the flight due to a lack of air transport.

On Sunday, Yemen’s internationally recognised government announced the formation of a commission of inquiry, led by Justice Minister Gamal Mohamed Omar, Minister of Public Works, Moeen Abdulmalik and the head of the General Authority of Civil Aviation Saleh bin Nahid.

All 188 passengers, including some patients who were travelling to Cairo for medical reasons, remain in a hotel in Aden, where they say they have been left without information, while investigations take place.

"So far, no one has visited us, we have not been informed of our departure date, and the government has not reimbursed us for the costs of our stay in Aden. We have not even had a single breakfast," one passenger said, according to local Yemen Monitor.

Campaigners say Yemen Airways has become the world's most expensive airline with tickets from Aden to Cairo costing $1,000. Despite the huge costs for customers, activists claim that the airline shows little no interest in using the money on maintaining its deteriorating fleet.

Only two airports remain functioning in Yemen - Aden and Sayoun - after the country sunk into chaos with the Saudi-led military intervention in March 2015.

Last month, authorities said they hired planes to transport Yemeni citizens stranded in several cities and airports across the region, after the national carrier cancelled dozens of flights without warning.

Yemen's largest airport, Sanaa International Airport, fell into the hands of Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh after they captured the capital and other cities in September 2014.

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