Since Houthi rebels seized control of the government and took over the capital city of Sana’a in Yemen this past March, delivering humanitarian aid to the country has been nearly impossible. Earlier this month, however, charter carrier Air Charter Service arranged the first civilian cargo flight into the city of Aden, the temporary capital of Yemen.
The aircraft carried 35 tonnes of aid, consisting of food and medical supplies, as well as six diplomats. More than 50 hospitals and health facilities have been destroyed since the beginning of the conflict and local reports said the people of Yemen are in desperate need of more than what ACS delivered.
“Hopefully this will be the first of many to follow into Aden,” said Justin Bowman, CEO of ACS. “We have already performed more than 20 flights into Sana’a for various Red Cross organizations, charities and governments, with the first direct flight from the U.A.E. into the country being operated two weeks ago by us. Before a relaxation by the Emirati government and the Civil Aviation Authority, all flights to and from Yemen had to make a technical stop in Djibouti.”
ACS arranged for an Il-76 to fly into Yemen Aug. 6 to deliver the goods. The carrier said it believes it is the first civilian cargo flight to land in Yemen since the start of the war. Getting aid to Yemen has been constrained by the Saudi coalition’s blockade of Yemen’s airports, borders and shipping lanes. ACS, with 19 worldwide offices on five continents, was able to get through. Since the conflict began, more than 3,700 people have been killed and more than 1 million people have had to leave their homes.