Yemenia Spotless Record? Really?

Friday, June 28, 2013
By George Hatcher

I glance at a lot of news sites, mostly skimming just to make sure the facts are the same across the board, and I don’t usually stop and make comments about one particular site, or other. I’m usually focused on the message, not the messenger.

But once in a while, I come across erroneous content.

What should I do when I come across a site that posts an article that says up till the crash in the Comoros, Yemenia Airlines had an unblemished record?

What world is that staff reporter living in? Who gave them that information? Because it’s wrong.

Today’s Yemenia was formerly Yemen Airlines and Yemen Arab Airlines and Yemen Airways. (There may be more DBA names I’m leaving out.)

This airline, rebranded over and over, has had at least 11 crashes and a couple of hijackings thrown in (1973 and 1975.) Just take a look at the actual record.

And there were EU Safety sanctions in JUL 2008: EU safety action (Safety deficiencies noted by ramp inspections in several countries; Yemenia took corrective actions.); on JUL 2009: EU safety action (The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) suspended the maintenance organisation approval EASA.145.0177 issued to Yemenia Yemen Airways, due to unresolved safety deficiencies.) On JUL 2009: EU safety action (The authorities of France suspended the certificates of airworthiness of the aircraft of type Airbus A310 registered in France (F-OHPR and F-OHPS) and operated by the carrier.) On NOV 2009: EU safety action (Member States will verify systematically the effective compliance of Yemenia with the relevant safety standards through the prioritisation of ramp inspections to be carried out on aircraft of this carrier.)

The EU is right to be so demanding. Yemenia Airlines has a dangerous record, no matter what the airline is called. Lack of safety is the reason the airline has been on the EU blacklist. Don’t the people of Yemen deserve a safe carrier?

(See below)

Hijacks first:

  • 14-SEP-1994——Alyemda (Merged with Yemenia—— Boeing 737-2R4C Hijacker(s) demanded to be taken to Saudi Arabia. Duration of the hijacking: less than 1 day.

  • 25 August 1973——a Yemen Airlines Douglas DC-6 was hijacked during a passenger flight from Ta’izz to Asmara. The perpetrator forced the pilots to divert the aircraft with fifteen other passenger and six crew members on board to Kuwait Airport, for which a refueling stop at Djibouti Airport turned out to be necessary. In Kuwait, the hijacker surrendered to local police forces.
  • 23 February 1975——a Yemen Airlines DC-3 was hijacked during a flight from Al Hudaydah to Sana’a and forced to land at an airport in Saudi Arabia. There, the aircraft was stormed and the perpetrator overpowered.
  • 27-AUG-1993——Alyemda (Merged with Yemenia)—— Boeing 737-2R4C An Alyemda Boeing 737 aircraft was hijacked during a domestic flight from Riyan Airport (RIY) to Al Ghaydah Airport The hijacker, a Yemeni soldier who reportedly was armed with a handgun and a hand grenade, demanded to be taken to either Kuwait or Oman. The pilot convinced the hijacker that a refueling stop was necessary.
  • 20-JAN-1983——Alyemda (Merged with Yemenia)—— Boeing 707-300 Three hijackers forced the aircraft to land at Djibouti. After the aircraft landed a gun battle erupted inside the aircraft and two passengers were reportedly wounded. The hijackers subsequently surrendered and were taken Into custody by Djibouti authorities. The hijackers were convicted of air piracy in Djibouti and reportedly sentenced to six months In prison. This was suspended.
  • 22-AUG-1972——Alyemda (Merged with Yemenia)—— Douglas DC-6 Three passengers hijacked the Alyemda plane en route between Beirut (BEY) and Cairo. The flight diverted to Nicosia (NIC), Cyprus. The hijackers said that they belonged to a group named the Eagles of National Unity in South Yemen. After a three hour refueling stop the airplane continued to Benghazi (BEN), Libya. The hijackers surrendered to Libyan authorities.
  • 15-AUG-1985——Alyemda (Merged with Yemenia)—— Boeing 707-336C Climbing through FL230, water inadvertently spilled on the autopilot panel and the crew had to disengage the autopilot because the stabilizer trim wheel started to rotate. Control was lost as the plane pitched up and down. Control was regained at 1000 feet and an emergency landing was carried out at Aden.
  • 09-MAY-1982——Alyemda (Merged with Yemenia)—— DHC-7-103 A Dash 7 passenger plane, operated by Alyemda, crashed into the sea some 2 km from the Aden International Airport (ADE), Yemen. Of the 49 occupants, 23 were killed. The pilot had reported the runway in sight at a distance of 9 nautical miles (17 km) and was cleared to report on final for runway 26. The wind was reported 240 degrees at 5 knots. The aircraft reported short final, was sighted by the tower and cleared to land, then lost altitude andcrashed in the sea.
  • 26-JAN-1982——Alyemda (Merged with Yemenia)——The Boeing 707 was flying a cargo of military supplies from Libya to Damascus when it was attacked by an Iraqi or Israeli fighter plane. The crippled freighter managed to land at Damascus, but was considered damaged beyond repair.
  • 01-MAR-1977——Alyemda (Merged with Yemenia)—— Douglas C-47A-25-DK 7O-ABF Crashed into the sea off Aden. 19 fatalities, 19 aboard
  • 17-SEP-1975——Alyemda (Merged with Yemenia)—— Douglas DC-3 Nose, front fuselage and propellers where damaged following a heavy landing. Aviation News reported the accident happened on Sept. 16
  • 3 November 1958——a Yemen Airlines Douglas C-47 Skytrain #YE-AAB crashed near in Italy, killing eight people on board. The aircraft had been on a flight from Rome Ciampino Airport to Yemen with a planned stopover at Belgrade, carrying the Yemenite Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
  • 19 March 1969——a Yemen Airlines C-47 (registered 4W-AAS) crashed near Ta’izz during a post-maintenance test flight, killing the four occupants. It turned out that the elevator of the aircraft did work properly. Repair work had been done on that part, because it had been damaged some days earlier in a ground collision.
  • 16 September 1971——a Yemen Airlines C-47 (registered 4W-ABI) crashed near Rajince, Serbia when it encountered severe icing conditions, killing the five people on board. The aircraft had been on a multi-stopover flight from Yemen to Europe and had just departed Belgrade Airport.
  • 1 November 1972——a Yemen Airlines Douglas DC-3 (registered 4W-ABJ) was destroyed in a crash-landing at an airfield near Beihan.
  • 13 December 1973——a Yemen Airlines DC-3 (registered 4W-ABR) crashed near Ta’izz.
  • 14 November 1978——a Yemen Airlines C-47 (registered 4W-ABY) was damaged beyond repair in a heavy landing at an airfield near Ma’rib.
  • 26 June 2000——a Yemenia Boeing 737-200C, registered 7O-ACQ, was damaged beyond repair when it veered off the runway upon landing at Khartoum International Airport following a cargo flight from Yemen. Despite their plans to carry out a runway 36 approach, the crew landed straight-in on runway 18. The aircraft departed the side of the runway. The nose gear collapsed as it contacted obstructions.
  • 21 January 2001——a Yemenia Flight 448, a Boeing 727-200 with 91 passengers and 10 crew on board, was hijacked 15 minutes into a flight from Sana’a to Ta’izz by an Iraqi man. The plane was forced to land at Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport, where the perpetrator was overpowered by the crew.
  • 1 August 2001——a Yemenia Boeing 727-200 (registered 7O-ACW) was damaged beyond economic repair when it overran the runway upon landing at Asmara International Airport following a flight from Sana’a with 107 passengers and four crew on board, none of whom were significantly injured.
  • 30 June 2009——a Yemenia Flight 626 from Sana’a to Moroni, Comoros crashed into the sea shortly before landing. Of the 142 passengers and eleven crew that had been on the Airbus A310-300 with the registration 7O-ADJ,[23] only a 12-year-old girl, Bahia Bakari, was recovered, alive and conscious, although suffering from extreme tiredness and hypothermia, cuts to her face and a fractured collar-bone.

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