A new airline has sprung up in the unlikeliest of places: Yemen.
Queen Bilqis Airways recently commenced regular commercial flights from Aden to Amman. Here’s a water-cannon salute from the company first arrival in Amman. It appears the airline uses a Boeing 737.
The privately-owned airline, whose ownership status is unknown, will operate three times per week to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Queen Bilqis Airways was founded in 2013, received approval to operate in late 2016, and had planned to launch in 2017. A bloody civil war led to rolling delays.
As civil war rages on Yemen, the government-controlled port city of Aden remains relatively calm. The country’s main airport in Sana’a is the epicenter of the fight between Saudi-backed government forces and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. There, the airport has been closed for several months after rebels took over the capital.
At United Nations-brokered peace summit in Sweden earlier this month, the Saudis agreed to allow Sana’a airport to re-open on the condition that aircraft are first inspected in Aden. But for now, all commercial flights operate out of Aden.
Earlier this year, Queen Bilqis Airways began service to Khartoum, Sudan followed by Cairo. Amman becomes the carrier’s third destination.
The airline maintains a website under construction and has a Twitter account here and Instagram account here. Neither social media accounts have any posts. The company does actively update its Facebook page. It appears the carrier has plans to expand to India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, but do not count on that anytime soon. Queen Bilqis is more commonly known as the the Queen of Sheba. According to the Hebrew bible, she bought gifts to King Solomon.
For those of you who have been to Yemen, is it worth a visit? I’d love to go and see it and try Queen Bilqis Airways in the process.
Would you fly Queen Bilqis Airways?