Beirut to Sana'a on A330. Yemenia offers a First and Economy class no Business. Odd concept as the First class hardly lives up to expectations. Pre-take off juice offered (this is a dry airline) and a passable dinner with a choice of three dishes presented on a trolley. Limited IFE mostly in Arabic but not a problem for this 3 hrs flight. Took off and landed more or less on time and the ticket price was good. Usual scramble at Sanaa airport.
Sanah to Mumbai on A330. A full flight but the crew were efficient polite and with passable English. I had window seat 30A and the legroom was just fine. Food was good but a little dry. Inflight entertainment not very exciting some Arabic drama without subtitles. Announcements from cockpit were clear and kept passengers updated. The negative is the awkward timings of the flight which arrives in Mumbai at 4 in the morning.
Djibouti-Sana'a. There was a small delay leaving but that was not a problem as the flight is less than 1 hr. During the flight we were given a drink and a sandwich which was nice because the flight is so short. The crew members were professional and spoke Arabic and English (not French). I suppose the seats are standard for this kind of plane Boeing 737 and I had ample leg room. Also the plane was not full so I could have 3 seats to myself.
Addis Ababa to Sana'a on Yemenia proved a dubious experience. Taking off at five in the morning meant check-in at three. Night-time seems a busy time at Addis Ababa airport as it was quite crowded. Took forever to get to the counter. Onboard settled down for a nap but woken by attendants insisting on serving a snack for breakfast. Plane almost full and seats narrow very tight legroom if person in front reclined seat. Suddenly announced flight was stopping in Aden due to troubled situation in Sana'a. Very poor information on how passengers would be shipped to Sana'a. Crew seemed as puzzled as passengers. Paid a visit to restrooms just before landing - an ugly sight. Price was reasonable and only direct flight from Addis to Sana'a so no choice really. Eventually got to Sana'a on domestic flight after a night in Aden courtesy of the airline.
Aden-Dubai on A310. Check-in swift and airside in less than 30 mins. Flight overbooked caused delay as ground staff sorted out rebookings for disgruntled pax. Boarding was mildly confusing as some pax did not respect seat assignments. Crew did their best to sort it out and finally got my seat. Seat pitch tight for someone over 180cm limited seat recline - good enough for 2h 30min flight would have been worse for long-haul. Video on safety procedures was running during take-off. Light meal served after take-off. Good selection of juices though only one drink offered. Cabin fairly clean but hygiene of restrooms questionable. Rule on mobile phone use not enforced by crew and several pax out of their seats emptying overhead bins while taxiing to stand at Dubai - quite chaotic.
Sana'a-Taiz B737-800 on domestic half-hour flight. Check-in the usual scramble to ward off people jumping the queue. Once through formalities bussed to aircraft and funnelled through rear door in spite of only one or two passengers in biz. Economy cabin was packed. Passengers seemed to have been given generous hand luggage allowances resulting in crammed overhead compartments and stuffed under-seats. Light refreshment cold drink served - nice touch given short duration. Cabin attendants professional though not too smiley.
Addis Ababa to Sanaa. Flight leaves Addis early morning 0445 but requested to be at airport two hours before departure - making this 1h30min flight an all-nighter. Boarding called way too early leaving pax waiting almost an hour at gate before doors opened. Old A310 Economy seats 2x4x2 config had exit row so okay for space. In spite of hand luggage limits several pax carrying huge bundles cramming the overhead bins. Bit of commotion as some pax were not allocated desired seats - took a while to sort. Meal served but didn't eat as trying to catch some sleep. Lights left on throughout flight. Seats standard economy not too clean though and interior showed serious signs of wear.
Sana'a-Paris on A330. On-time departure in spite of elaborate boarding procedures. All pax bussed to aircraft. Inflight fine choice of meal and range of non-alcoholic drinks. Cabin crew courteous with passable English. Economy cabin looked a real mess after meal service - not cleaned. Limited inflight entertainment.
RUH-Sana'a return on time on both legs. RUH-SHH sector was run by the customary A319 which look tired and old. No IFE and food was inedible. SHH-RUH sector a newer A330 was used but still no IFE. Food on this sector was passable scrambled eggs and foul. On both sectors staff ensured that security procedures were adhered to which was reassuring.
ADD-AMM via Sanaa. Overnight in Sanaa where Yemenia provide hotel and breakfast. Pleasant flight attendants and acceptable food. A good flight and a lot cheaper than competitors. I had to change this flight and put it forward by one week which was no problem and didn't cost anything to change.
Addis Ababa to Cairo via Sana'a. I was pleasantly surprised. The food was very good. The planes were relatively new and in good condition. And this flight was at least $250 cheaper than all other alternatives for this route with other airlines. My only concern was the fact that I bought the ticket online from Bravofly.co.uk and got a confirmation number with no other instructions. However when I showed up at the airport I was told that my tickets were cancelled because I didn't reconfirm the flight 72 hours in advance with a local office. I've never had to do this for a flight for which I had already paid. Good thing they had 2 seats still left on the flight and rebooked my friend and I without further issues.
The tickets were the cheapest available. The Sana'a airport is very old small and inadequate. They say the new airport should be ready soon. The in flight entertainment is not that great. I notice less delays so they must be doing something good. I like the e- ticketing system. The food was good. The plane interiors needs to be maintained. I noticed some footrests that need some attention. Overall for the money you pay it is a good airline.
The return tickets London to Bangladesh were cheap so I chose to try them out. Both the economy and First class seats are shabby. London-Yemen flight was less than half full on an Airbus 310. In flight entertainment was abysmal with the same film shown on both outward and inward flights. There is no personal in-flight entertainment system everyone shares the same overhead screen. Sana'a airport transit lounge lets the airline down. There were over 200 people in the lounge with only 3 filthy cubicles for men and none of them had a working flush or toilet paper and all of them were overflowing with excrement (I have photos). There was no soap either. The 5 hour transit wait was unpleasant. Sanaa to Bangladesh flight was full. The aircraft was infested with flies and it was hard to eat. Food isn't great but its ok for the price. There are no snacks even if you ask. No extra milk for tea either except the powder sachet that you get once with your main meal. Reconfirming the flights in Bangladesh was erratic. Local agent asked I present my passport and ticket in person and present a copy of my visa (I was told by UK travel agents I only needed to phone in order to reconfirm)! In the end I argued with him and sent him a copy of my ticket and passport by fax. Return journey from Bangladesh to Sana'a was the same on Flight IY0873 and the first class seat I was in (seat 2E) was very shabby and only slightly larger than economy but did have good legroom. The footrests were broken and there were flies buzzing around. Trasit at Sanaa to London was done in the bus and boarding cards handed out while the bus was moving to the transit lounge where more people got on. The official took all our passports and disappeared for a while. He then left all our passports with a fellow passenger and jumped off the bus. We had to frantically grab our passports because of the risk of theft. Sanaa to London flight had same food and flies and the stewardess explained that the flies were around because of the dates in Yemen. We requested she spray insecticide and she said she would try but it never happened. 20 minutes before landing at Heathrow she sprayed insecticide but that was because of UK rules. Verdict - Flight schedule was super crew dont go the extra mile. I will travel with them again if the fare is cheap and I am the only traveller otherwise I will give them a miss. Not recommended for families because of the really poor transit lounge and toilets.
I bought the ticket as it was the cheapest available the service was horrible. The planes are ok and sometime you will have plenty of space to rest. There is very little in flight entertainment system. The headset does not work for most of the seats. Sana'a international airport is the worst airport I have seen in my life. There is a big dirty waiting room for the transit passenger and no facility to buy food or even shop. Strangely enough you have to request the guards to let you in the duty free region and most of them don’t understand English. The airport staff are very rough. The connecting flights are not regular. So if you miss one you are stuck at Sana'a for 2/3 days. Onboard food choice is very limited and sometimes I was offered no choice. Though there were options in the menu the cabin crews were giving whatever they want to the passengers. You can save some money with this but at the end of the day may have to regret like me.
Jeddah-Sanaa-Paris return. On the way back I had big problem when I arrived to Sanaa my flight from Sanaa to Jeddah was supposed to depart at 1 am - operations cancelled this flight without being advised and postponed it to 1 pm next day. This flight was then delayed on ground as well while all the passengers onboard waiting for a VIP. The whole journey took me more than 40 hours.
Cairo to Sanaa and back. The service was good. Round trip flight had good service and despite a few kids running in the aisles it was a peaceful flight. Though I was confident of Yemeni before I am a little shaken up of a Yemenia flight report from my husband and worry about his flight home.
London to Aden (direct flight). Everything was OK except flight went down to Sanaa not continuing to Aden. There was no information during flight concerning this. 35 passengers was left to Sanaa airport. Next plane to Aden was departing after 18 hours. Luckily Yemenia paid us taxi so we went last 350km with Peugeot 505 with driver + four people and luggages. I fly few times From ADE to SAA and back during my stay. Every flight had some problems. Return flight from Aden to Sanaa had to be confirmed twice before departure. From Sanaa to Frankfurt flight was OK. It seems that domestic flights are made with left hand but international flights are taken care better. Next time I went to Aden via Dubai DXB-ADE-DXB was with Yemenia with no big problem only some delays. On international flights cabin crew was also better than domestic flights.
I flew 2 international flights London - Sana'a and 2 internal flights to Socotra and I have to say that on every flight the crew were the friendliest I have encountered in the last 5 years. Suggesting where we sit for the best views making extra cups of tea etc. While the internal flights were completely full and the Yemenis carry enough hand luggage to fill the pane twice over the international flights were so empty everyone had a whole row of seats to themselves which sure makes a change.
I had a fully reconfirmed ticket from Sana'a to Socotra and back. In Sana'a I was told the flight is full (!!) and could I come back every day to see if there are any changes. I finally got a seat on the plane. In Hadibu (on the island of Socotra) I had my ticket reconfirmed by an agent a week prior to departure and he was told that my name had been cancelled. As I had to fly back to Europe the same day I was furious. After a lot of angry words there was suddenly a seat available for me. The flight from Sana'a to Socotra costs 300 euros - one can almost fly from Amsterdam to New York for this fare! On the plane we were told that they had run out of coffee and we received nothing to eat or drink from 7am in the morning until 11am when we reached Sana'a airport! Never in my life have I experienced such bad service and incompetence.
I fly Yemenia every six months on the route Riyadh-Sana'a (via Aden) and back to Riyadh. They have reasonably new clean aircraft with good legroom and the food is no better or worse than what you are served on short distance economy class journeys on other airlines. Punctuality has been good except once and Yemenis are generally welcoming people which also applies to my experience with Yemenia booking-office staff in Sana'a. However I agree that most airlines in this region offer lower standards of aircraft and service on typical expat flights to Asia and flights with large numbers of deportees from Saudi Arabia can be a mixed experience. Generally I am satisfied with Yemenia and will use them on future flights to Sana'a.