Sanaa International Airport

Coordinates: 15°28′35″N 044°13′11″E / 15.47639°N 44.21972°E / 15.47639; 44.21972
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Sanaa International Airport

مطار صنعاء الدولي
Airport typePublic/Military
OwnerYemeni Government
OperatorAnsarullah (Houthis)[citation needed]
Hub forYemenia
Elevation AMSL7,216 ft / 2,199 m
Coordinates15°28′35″N 044°13′11″E / 15.47639°N 44.21972°E / 15.47639; 44.21972
SAH/OYSN is located in Yemen
Location within Yemen
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18/36 10,669 3,252 Asphalt

Sanaa International Airport (IATA: SAH, ICAO: OYSN) is the primary international airport of Yemen located in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. It services Sanaa City as well as the entire population of the Northern Provinces of Yemen. Initially, a small passenger terminal was built in the 1970s. The runway is shared with a large military base with several fighter jets and transport aircraft of the Yemeni Air Force.


The airport has one 3,200-meter-long runway, an apron with 27 parking spaces, and a passenger terminal.[1]


In 2007, the airport handled about 1.7 million passengers, representing 80% of all air passengers in Yemen and 87% of all international passengers.[1] During that year, there were 38 flights per day on average.[1]

Impact of war[edit]

Due to the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, a no-fly zone has been imposed over the entire country, as of 28 March 2015, so civilian flights have ceased operation.[2][3] The only flights operating from then on were flights by foreign countries to evacuate their nationals.[4] The militaries of India and Pakistan evacuated their citizens from Yemen as the war began.

On 29 April 2015, the airport was the target of severe bombardment from the Royal Saudi Air Force. The only runway and the passenger terminal building have been severely damaged and are unusable for the foreseeable future.[5] On 9 August 2016, the airport was closed down once again after resumption of services by Yemenia due to closure of airspace by the Saudi-led coalition.

On 6 November 2017, in response to a Houthi missile landing in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi authorities closed the airport along with all other routes into Yemen.[6] On 14 November of that year, the Saudi Air Force bombed the airport, inflicting damage upon it.[7] On 23 November 2017, the authorities allowed the airport to reopen for aid flights, along with the port of Hodeidah.[8] On 25 November, four planes carrying humanitarian aid landed in Sana'a, the first such planes to land since the total blockade had been imposed.[6]

On 3 February 2020, a United Nations plane carrying seven seriously ill Yemenis took off on a mercy flight to Jordan.[9]

In December 2021, the airport was targeted by Saudi Arabian airstrikes.[10] Civilians were reportedly evacuated before they were launched but the airport was heavily damaged.[11]

On 16 May 2022, commercial flights from the airport resumed after six years. The first Yemenia flight carried 151 passengers to the Jordanian capital Amman.[12]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Yemenia Amman–Queen Alia[13]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 14 September 1994, an Alymeda Boeing 737 flight from Aden to Sanaa, Yemen was hijacked by a man with a hand grenade. He reportedly demanded to be taken to Saudi Arabia. When the hijacker went into the flight deck, he was overpowered by security personnel who had entered the plane and was arrested.[14]
  • On 30 October 2011, a shelling attack by opposition tribesmen on the neighbouring Air Force base damaged the airport's runway, forcing incoming flights to be diverted to Aden. There were no reports of casualties, although an ammunition storage and two fighter jets were destroyed.[15]
  • On 21 November 2012, An Antonov 26 crashed in the abandoned Al-Hasaba Marketplace. Pilots saw that there was an engine which caught fire. The aircraft was operated by the Yemeni Air Force.
  • On 19 February 2013, A Yemeni Air Force fighter plane, Sukhoi Su-17 crashed on to a building shortly after taking off from Sanaa International Airport close to a busy road. The crash location was behind a local hospital. 18 people died and 16 were injured. Yemeni Air Force was concerned in the aftermath of two plane crashes.
  • On 23 June 2014, British citizen and pro-democracy campaigner Andargachew Tsige was controversially arrested at Sana'a airport and later extradited to Ethiopia.[16]
  • On 26 March 2015, the Saudi Air Force bombed positions in Sanaa including the airport, in reaction to the 2014-15 Yemen coup d'etat.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c United Nations Human Settlements Programme in Yemen (2020). Sana'a City Profile (PDF). Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  2. ^ Ghattas, Abir. "Yemen's No Fly Zone: Thousands of Yemenis are Stranded Abroad". Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  3. ^ Ahmed, Amel (28 March 2015). "Stranded Yemeni-Americans consider alternate escape routes". Al-Jazeera. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ Elbagir, Nima (6 April 2015). "CNN Crew flies into Yemen capital". CNN. CNN. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  5. ^ Eiselin, Stefan (April 30, 2015). "Krieg im Jemen trifft Billigairline". Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Aid trickles into Yemen after three weeks of blockade". Al-Jazeera. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  7. ^ Al-Haj, Ahmed (14 November 2017). "Saudi-led coalition bombs airport runway in Yemen's capital". ABC News. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  8. ^ Erickson, Amanda (22 November 2017). "Saudi Arabia just reopened two key ports in Yemen. That won't prevent a famine". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  9. ^ Walsh, Declan (3 February 2020). "Mercy Flight Leaves Yemen Capital, Cracking a 3-Year Blockade". New York Times. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Saudi-led coalition strikes Yemen's Sanaa airport". Retrieved 2021-12-22.
  11. ^ Sanaa international airport DESTROYED, retrieved 2021-12-22
  12. ^ "First commercial flight in six years leaves Yemen's Sanaa amid fragile truce". France 24. 16 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Yemenia Flight Status & Schedule •".
  14. ^ Hijacking description at the Aviation Safety Network
  15. ^ "UPDATE 2 — Mortar shells hit Yemeni Air Force Base, destroying two fighter jets". BNO News. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  16. ^ Plaut, Martin (July 4, 2015). "UK stands accused over extradition of Ethiopian opposition leader". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 22, 2016.
  17. ^ Mazzetti, Mark; Kirkpatrick, David. "Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen". New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2015.

External links[edit]