Somaliland revokes Flydubai, Air Arabia licenses for 'obeying' flight commands from Mogadishu

Somaliland has revoked the licenses of two UAE airlines for allegedly heeding orders from Somalia to turn back mid air en route to Hargeisa last month. has learnt that the two budget airlines-Flydubai and Air Arabia have had their license cancelled by Somaliland government denying them access to the break-away region.

A Flydubai aircraft FZ661 was forced to turn back mid-air on March 20 after the Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) demanded it returns in line with the international flights ban which Mogadishu imposed in mid-March. 

A source at SCAA had then intimated to HOL that the aircraft had declined to abide by the directive from SCAA but later agreed to after the aviation body in Mogadishu engaged its opposite in Dubai. 

Flydubai which is owned by the government of Dubai and Air Arabia founded by Sharjah government also in UAE have been flying to and from Egal Airport in Hargeisa.

The Federal Government of Somalia extended the international flights ban indefinitely on March 28 in light of the ongoing threat of COVID-19. So far two cases have been reported in Somaliland while three others were recorded in Mogadishu.Somalia resumed full control of its airspace from mid-2018 when the caretaker authority in Nairobi handed over all the instruments of control to the Federal Government after over 20 years.