November 14, 2017 / 12:09 PM / 2 years ago

Aden airport receives first commercial flight after Yemen blockade

Aden (Reuters) - Yemen’s national airline said on Tuesday a commercial flight had landed at Aden international airport after acquiring security permits, a step that will ease a blockade on one of the poorest Arab nations.

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi movement said last week it had closed all air, land and sea ports in Yemen to stem what it said was the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran. The move came after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired towards Riyadh, which it blamed on Tehran.

Iran denies arming the Houthis and blames the conflict in Yemen on Riyadh.

A Yemenia airlines official said a flight took off from Cairo and landed in Aden on Tuesday before returning to the Egyptian capital. He said the flights would increase gradually over the coming days.

The United Nations has warned a total blockade could cause famine in Yemen, where war has killed at least 10,000 people in the last two and a half years.

Transport Minister Mourad al-Halimi had said Yemenia flights to the pro-Saudi-government-held cities of Aden and Seiyun would resume on Sunday, but the national carrier said it did not have the necessary permits to fly.

Reporting by Mohammad Mukhashaf; Writing by Dahlia Nehme in Dubai; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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