Review of Yemenia flight Amman Sana'a in Economy

Airline Yemenia
Flight IY6461
Class Economy
Seat 12G
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 02:50
Take-off 03 Aug 22, 12:25
Arrival at 03 Aug 22, 15:15
IY 5 reviews
flightreviewer
Published on 3rd August 2022

Hello Everyone!

This flight report takes us from Amman, Jordan to Sana'a, Yemen on Yemenia's newly added Airbus 330-200. Yemenia was founded in 1940 and had destinations to over 35 cities in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Currently, through its Aden and Seiyun hubs, it flies to Cairo, Amman, Jeddah, Riyadh, Khartoum, Mumbai, (Dubai rarely), Djibouti, Mukalla, and Socotra (MUST VISIT). It has a current fleet of 4 Airbus A320s and 1 A330-200 with another a332 to join later in the year as reported. 

Sana'a has been continuously inhabited for over 2500 years, making it one of the oldest in the world. It is the 7th highest capital in the world with 7,380 ft of elevation, giving it a very moderate climate with a daily mean of 20C in June and 12C in January. As the capital of Yemen, it is the most populous with 3,000,000 inhabitants (2012). This is however likely to have greatly changed as many Yemenis have moved to the capital to avoid other volatile areas or war fronts. 
 
Since 9 August 2016, the airport has been closed down due to closure of  airspace by the international Saudi-led coalition. This meant that for around 7 years, 20,000,000 people, who live in the most populated region in Yemen, could only travel through Aden Airport in the south or Seiyun far east in the desert. Given the complexities of the political situation, the direct road from Sana'a to Aden has been closed. Therefore, a 4-hour car ride has become 12-hour nightmarish journey through rugged mountains, valleys, and unpaved roads. A dangerous journey that involves 10s of checkpoints of various militias, armies, thieves, and lawless roads where some simply don't make it alive, especially, the sick.


In April 2022, a UN sponsored 2-month truce (extended on Aug 3rd, 2022, for two more months) allowed a limited number of flights to operate out of Sana'a towards destinations such as Amman and Cairo with two trips weakly to each destination as per the agreement. As of July 21, only 20 flights have departed mostly to Amman with only a single flight to Cairo in the whole duration (not airlines fault). In a sense, this is a very special flight and a privilege when freedom of movement has been so restricted and the flights out of Sana’a will probably cease once the truce is over. This one-way flight costed 570 USD. It could be booked with any Yemenia sales office. Online website cannot be used for bookings and the other  Yemenia flights cannot be booked on search engines. 
 
The current aircraft for this flight is an Airbus 330-200 (7O-AFE - ADEN) bought in 2021 from Air Mauritius and after some repairs, entered service in 2022. Its first flight was in 2007.  


Boarding


Boarding was by buses, which allowed great views of the plane. 
 


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seats


The aircraft features 18 flatbed seats in business class  in a 1-2-1 configuration with the even-numbered window seats providing the most privacy. 


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Business Class looked very comfortable for a 2:45 hour flight. Definitely a step up from the regular A320 with recliner seats used from Aden to Amman. 


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The plane features 255 seats in economy with 31” seat pitch. Economy seats were in a 2-4-2 configuration with rows 10 and 30 having extra legroom. 


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Seats were comfortable and each seat had a PTV and a cup holder. Yemenia has its own inflight magazine and i believe it is available online. The entertainment system offered some movies. FRIENDS was available and indeed we went to 15 Yemen road, Yemen. The selection was plenty for the duration of the flight but definitely not ICE.  USB ports were also available. 
 


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The flight path. It was bumpy at times!


photo route

Meal


Full meals were offered. There was a choice between a chicken Biryani or meat with Sodas, Juice,  bread, chocolate cake, Laughing Cow cheese, salad, and condiments. Tea and coffee were offered later. It was not the regular Yemenia catering so the quality was worse than usual. I believe the Sana'a catering facility has been closed. 


Arrival


Arrival was special as it has become a rare sight seeing a plane in Sana'a's sky that was not meant for bombardment of the city or carrying a UN official. We are met with mountains that were relatively green as rain mostly falls in the spring/summer. It was funny and alarming how both Paris and London were having 40C days and a Middle Eastern city experiencing 11C weather at he same time. That's climate change for ya!  

Landing was smooth.  The plane parked at  a remote stand as per usual in SAH. Some  planes were damaged from the previous air strikes on the  airport so Felix Airways lost a few CRJ planes. I liked Felix Airways but now they operate a leased 737-700 from Aden to some regional destinations.  The airport went through a face-lift and had an extension from the side entrance.  There were  some damages in the ceiling in certain sections of the airport but the rest was normal. The new Sana'a Airport  terminal has progressed a lot and many were excited about it but the structure was recently damaged. The design  was beautiful with a mix of Sana'ani architecture and modern styles.  

Throughout the journey, everyone was so happy. There was this positive energy in the staff and the passengers. Many people were affected by its closure from the employees to the general population so everyone is just truly happy and hope it lasts. 
 


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Verdict

Yemenia

7.1/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering5.5

Amman - AMM

8.0/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Sana'a - SAH

6.9/10
Efficiency7.0
Access5.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Great flight overall given its nature. Boarding took a bit as people exchanged seats to sit with their families. Plane looked fresh, was comfortable and was an overall upgrade. Food was ok and since it was only one flight arriving, arrival was smooth at the Sana'a airport. I hope that it continues to be opened as it is incredibly important for the ill people, businessmen and students.

Information on the route Amman (AMM) Sana'a (SAH)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Amman (AMM) → Sana'a (SAH).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Yemenia with 6.2/10.

The average flight time is 4 hours and 23 minutes.

  More information

8 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 608645 by
    AK BRONZE 993 Comments

    Hello Flightreviewer

    Thank you so much for this report ! This is an exceptionnal flight report for several reasons : the political context is very special, the airline is rarely reported... The cabin looks confortable and modern. It is your first flight report, I am impressed !

    I hope the war in Yemen will end and that peace will be restored !

  • Comment 608649 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5845 Comments

    Hi Flightreviewer, wow what an awesome and incredibly exotic review! I’d recently learned Yemenia acquired an ex-Air Mauritius 332 and it’s super cool to actually see a review on it! Which I honestly did not expect given the situation in Yemen. MK had recently refurbed the 332 interiors and it’s nice to see them looking so fresh and new still.

    Yemenia have not had an easy time these past few years starting and stopping operations several times for obvious reasons…including a long point in time where the runway in Sanaa wasn’t even operable due to damage. It’s nice to see them persevere and offer a very decent product while they’re at it!

    Thanks so much for sharing this very special review!

    • Comment 608652 by
      flightreviewer AUTHOR 16 Comments

      Hello KévinDC!
      Thank you for reading and i am very glad you enjoyed it. We're very happy that this plane joined the fleet and another one is on its way. This will allow Yemenia to operate again the KUL/CGK route, which is important for Yemenis. They also look to expand to Istanbul and these planes will help with the load. Yemenia definitely doesn't have an easy time. They are not even allowed to park their planes in Yemen and must pay high fees for them to stay at nearby regional airports every night. With the all corruption in the company (CEO has been finally replaced) and the political difficulties, it is a miracle they still operate. They are our life line though as no foreign airline operate into the country. I just hope that the Sana'a flights don't cease.

  • Comment 608654 by
    Leadership TEAM GOLD 5295 Comments

    Incredible report, thank you so much for sharing is with us and welcome to Flight-Report.
    It's very sad to witness this situation and knowing that the 20M inhabitants of Sanaa are locked must be very challenging and depressing.
    On a lighter tone, seeing a working IFE is a surprise, but it seems like the background image is still Mauritius.

    • Comment 608656 by
      flightreviewer AUTHOR 16 Comments

      Thank you for welcoming me and i am glad you enjoyed the report. I love this website and i am happy to contribute. Indeed it is catastrophic. I personally have family members who died when they tried to reach the Seyiun airport due the road conditions. It doesn't make sense why the airport is forced to be closed for the general public when it is functional and receiving officials and delegates all the time. Well, hopefully things improve!

      Yeah, the IFE was a surprise :) When the plane first entered, they didn't work, so it's great that they loaded them with some entertainment. The scenes from Mauritius are incredible. They gave a cool touch! i think many just assumed it's the island Socotra.

      I have a question regarding the language of a report. Does one write one report for each language if one speaks both English and French? Or duplication is not allowed?

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