Yemen Post interviews Mr. Abdullah Al-Qasem, Public Relations Manager of Yemenia Airlines, as he talks about the future of the airline especially after the crash that happened last year in Comoros which left more than 160 people killed. He says Yemenia is trying to rebuild its reputation by giving better services to passengers. Below is the interview:
How did the accident last year affect the passenger’s confidence, especially after over 160 people were killed?
Passenger’s confidence has not been shaken at all because of their previous trust on Yemenia. Fortunately, we have surpassed this crisis successfully.
What are your future plans for developing Yemenia Airlines?
There is a plan to develop all professional, services and sales sectors. A special committee was set up, its services start when customers first buy the flight-tickets until their return. Yemenia also launched the Customers Center, which is available online around the clock through its free phone-number 255. The new service helps in providing customers with any information they might need and help them have a better trip on our carrier, under the supervision of nine specialized staff members.
What are the new destinations for Yemenia Airlines?
We are opening new destinations in March 2010, to Bangkok and China. In Africa, we will be going to Nairobi, Dar Al-Salaam, and Madagascar. In Europe we will be going to Amsterdam in 2011.
Will Yemenia open flights to America?
Currently ‘’no’’, due to the far distance and the cost; however, traveling to America is seasonally. The reason we do not go to America is purely for economic reasons.
I would like to reassure our immigrants in America that we have more than 4 agreements with other companies, one of which is Lufthansa, that led passengers travel from America to Frankfurt then continue via Yemenia.
United States classified Yemen among the countries that its passengers will be subjected to airport scanning devices. Do you think this is a severe embarrassment to Yemenis and is a way to put more restrictions on Yemenia Airlines passengers ?
We are an Aviation Company, and we have nothing to do with security laws. We abide by the laws of any country we pass through.
Do you see 2009 as a year of adversity?
Last year was a year of adversities and crises in Yemen. As a result of Sa’ada war, tourism has largely been affected in Yemen. Yemenia was exposed to a fatal accident. But due to the solidarity of everyone, we surpassed the crisis. We made a package of fundamental changes at all levels, and opened new lines to new destinations.
Yemenia also signed the purchase of ten new Airbus aircrafts. It has also signed a travelling insurance agreement with United Insurance Company aiming to give more security to passengers. The traveling insurance duty takes place for up to 92 days. This service rarely exists on other airline companies.
We thank the Yemen Post Newspaper; Yemen Post has become one of the most read and famous newspapers. Especially, as it is distributed even in America, and its website is updates every hour. We wish it further progress and success.
ABOUT Yemen Post Publisher & Chief Editor:
Hakim Almasmari is an American journalist and Middle East expert based in Sana'a, Yemen. His work has appeared for many of the worlds top media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Washington Post, AlJazeera, Fox News, The Guardian, The National, USA Today among numerous others. He has also worked with some of the world’s top organizations. Reporting out of Yemen for nearly eight years, he is the current editor in chief for the Yemen Post. He is a university lecturer in the field of international media and also studied business and law. Considered one of the top experts on Yemen, Almasmari has closely worked with international strategic centers and think tanks helping them better understand Yemen. He is a frequent guest on many international TV outlets discussing current local and international affairs. Almasmari's ancestors are from Yemen, and was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. His mother tongue is English and is fluent in Arabic.