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Alyemda Logo.png
Founded 11 March 1971 (7 March 1949 as Aden Airways)
Ceased operations 1996 (merged into Yemenia)
Hubs Aden International Airport
Focus cities Riyan Airport, Mukalla
Sayun Airport, Sayun
Fleet size 30 (throughout 1971-1996)
Destinations 37
Parent company South Yemen Government
Headquarters Aden, South Yemen
(Yemen from 1990)

Alyemda (Arabic: اليمدا‎ - al-Yamdā), internationally known as Democratic Yemen Airlines or just Yemen Airlines, was the flag carrier airline of South Yemen. Established at Aden on 11 March 1971 after nationalizing Brothers Air Services (BASCO) which was a private company owned by Ba Haroon Brothers.[1][2]

Its head office was in the Alyemda Building in Khormaksar, Aden.[3]


Alyemda was founded in 1971, four years after the independence of South Yemen and operated a network of flight routes throughout Africa and the Middle East, with its hub at Aden Airport, the former Khormaksar Air Force Base.[4] The airlines has started with a fleet of Douglas DC-6s and DC-3s/C-47s propliners and by the mid of 1970s Alyemda acquired a fleet of Boeing 707s/720s jetliners followed by three brand new De Havilland Dash 7s turboprop liners in 1979. In 1983 Alyemda got its first brand new Boeing 737-200ADV which was mostly used for domestic and regional flights, also the Tupolev Tu-154 joined the fleet by the mid of 1980s and later the Airbus A310-304 jetliner in 1993. Following the unification of Yemen in 1990, the airline was renamed first Alyemda Air Yemen in 1992, and later in 1995 Alyemen Airlines of Yemen. On 11 February 1996, Alyemda merged into Yemenia to create a single national airline for Yemen.[5]

Fleet details[edit]

An Alyemda Boeing 737-200 at Aden International Airport in 1992...
...and the same aircraft at Sharjah International Airport in 1995, featuring the Alyemen livery.

Over the years of its existence, Alyemda operated the following aircraft types:[5]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 22 August 1972, an Alyemda Douglas DC-6 was hijacked by three passengers during a scheduled flight from Beirut, Lebanon to Cairo, Egypt, in an act of demonstration for a unification of North Yemen and South Yemen. The pilots were forced to have a fuel stop at Nicosia, Cyprus, and continued to Benghazi, Libya, where the perpetrators surrendered to local police forces, without having injured anyone of the remaining 49 passengers and six crew.[6]
  • On 16 or 17 September 1975, an Alyemda Douglas DC-3 (registered 7O-ABF) was damaged beyond economic repair in a landing accident at Beihan Airport, following a scheduled flight from Aden.[7]
  • On 1 March 1977, an Alyemda Douglas C-47 (registered 7O-ABF) crashed into the Red Sea shortly after take-off from Aden International Airport. All 16 passengers and three crew members that had been on the scheduled domestic flight were killed.[8]
  • On 26 January 1982, five months before the outbreak of the First Lebanon War, an Alyemda Boeing 707-300 cargo aircraft (registered 7O-ACJ) carrying weapons from Libya to Lebanon was attacked by an unidentified fighter aircraft upon approaching Damascus International Airport. The pilots managed to safely land the plane, even though it had received substantial damage.[9]
  • On 9 May 1982, an Alyemda de Havilland Canada Dash 7 (registered 7O-ACK) crashed into the sea upon approaching Aden International Airport following a scheduled flight from Al Mukalla. Of the 45 passengers, 21 lost their lives, as well as two out of the four crew members, making it the worst accident in the history of the airline.[10]
  • On 20 January 1983, three persons hijacked an Alyemda Boeing 707 during a flight from Aden to Kuwait City, and forced the pilots to divert to Djibouti City. At Djibouti Airport, the perpetrators surrendered.[11]
  • On 15 August 1985, an Alyemda Boeing 707 (registered 7O-ACO) carrying 65 passengers and 8 crew went temporarily out of control following an autopilot malfunction and subsequent pilot error. The aircraft heavily pitched up and down, causing the death of two passengers and one flight attendant. When the pilots managed to resolve the situation, they carried out an emergency landing at Aden Airport, from where the flight had departed.[12]
  • On 27 August 1993, an Alyemda Boeing 737-200 was hijacked during a scheduled domestic flight from Al Mukalla to Al Ghaydah by an armed person who demanded to be taken to either Kuwait or Oman. The pilots continued to Al Ghaydah Airport instead, where all passengers could leave, allowing police forces to storm the plane and arrest the perpetrator.[13]
  • On 14 September 1994, a hijacking attempt occurred on board another Alyemda Boeing 737-200 on a flight from Aden to Sana'a.[14]


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. April 5–11, 1995. 52.
  2. ^ "North and South Yemen Airlines to Merge." Flight International. 10–16 April 1996. 10.
  3. ^ "World airline directory." Flight International. 26 July 1980. p. 282. "Head Office: PO Box 6006, Alyemda Building, Khormaksar, Aden, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen." (Direct PDF link, Archive)
  4. ^ Images of Alyemda timetables
  5. ^ a b Information about Alyemda at the Aero Transport Database
  6. ^ Alyemda 1972 hijacking at the Aviation Safety Network
  7. ^ "7O-ABP Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "7O-ABF Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Alyemda 1982 fighter attack incident at the Aviation Safety Network
  10. ^ "Accident Report 19820509-1." Aviation Safety Net. Retrieved: 1 June 2011.
  11. ^ Alyenda 1983 hijacking at the Aviation Safety Network
  12. ^ 1985 Alyemda accident at the Aviation Safety Network
  13. ^ 1993 Alyemda hijacking at the Aviation Safety Network
  14. ^ Alyemda 1994 hijacking attempt