Yemenia – Yemen Airways was founded as Yemen Airlines by Ahmad bin Yahya, the King of Yemen, in the second half of the 1940s.
In 1962, when the Yemen Arab Republic was proclaimed, a new airline licence was issued, and Yemen Airlines became the flag carrier of the country.
From 1967 to 1972, the airline co-operated with United Arab Airlines, and it was known during that period as Yemen Arab Airlines.
In July 1972, the airline was nationalized, and Yemen Airlines was reorganized and retitled Yemen Airways.
In July 1978, the Yemenia name was adopted following the joint establishment of a new airline, early in 1977, by the governments of the Yemen Arab Republic, now the Republic of Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, holding 51% and 49% respectively of the capital.
In 1979-1980, four brand-new B 727-200 and two DHC-7 aircraft were delivered to Yemenia.
In May 1990, South Yemen united with the Yemen Arab Republic to form the present-day Yemen, leading to the plan to form a single national airline by merging Alyemda, the flag carrier airline of South Yemen, into Yemenia.
In 1992, to achieve the merger of the two airlines, the shares held by Saudi Arabia were bought back by the government of Yemen.
In February 1996, Alyemda merged into Yemenia, which became the only national airline for Yemen. Yemenia added to its fleet 2 B-737-100 and 2 DHC-7 aircraft.
In 2002, three brand-new B737-800 were delivered to Yemenia.
Although in June 2007, Yemenia became an IOSA certified airline, a number of safety actions have been taken against Yemenia by the European Union because of alleged poor maintenance standards in Yemen since 2008.
In July 2009, because the European Aviation Safety Agency withdrew the maintenance approval issued to Yemenia, the airline was forced to suspend all flights to Europe. In December 2009, European services to Frankfurt were relaunched.
At the end of March 2015, due to the ongoing military conflict affecting its hub at Sana’a International Airport, Yemenia was forced to completely suspend flight operations until further notice.
In November 2015, Yemenia resumed operations from Aden International Airport, with a first flight to the Jordanian capital, Amman, and announced it’s flying from Dubai to Socotra every Monday, and to Seiyun every Sunday. Currently, Yemenia operates daily flights between Sana’a and Amman.
In 2016-2017, Yemenia resumed operations were affected by the blockade of Yemen imposed by Saudi Arabia.
In November 2018, Yemen received a new Airbus A320 200 aircraft. The addition of the new aircraft will give more flexibility to serve Yemenia’s destinations which tend to increase to meet market demand.
Throughout Yemenia’s history, there were a number of incidents and accidents, including 3 hijackings. The only deadly accident in the last 20 years was also by far the worst in the history of the airline, when Yemenia Flight 626 to Moroni, Comoros, crashed into the Indian Ocean shortly before landing on June 30, 2009. Of the 142 passengers and 11 crew that had been on board the Airbus A310-300, only a 12-year-old girl survived.