SANAA, Yemen — Saudi Arabia landed Wednesday a military aircraft in the southern city of Aden's airport, the airfield's first use after operations there were halted in March, the airport's chief manager said.
The aircraft carried aid for war-torn Aden, said Tarek Abdu, the Aden International Airport manager.
The airport was seized by Iran-allied Shiite rebels in March amid fierce fighting in the strategic port city, sparking airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition.
The rebels, known as Houthis, seized Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in September.
The fighting in Yemen pits the Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and loyalists of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is now based in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi aircraft paves the way for an aerial corridor for aid delivery to the south, said Badr Bassalma, Yemen's transport minister. A technical team from the United Arab Emirates was sent to assist in airport repairs as well as to gauge other urgent needs in the city, he said.
Abdu said while repair work is being carried out to fix damage done to the airport during fighting in the past few months, the airport's staff is preparing to receive daily aid-carrying aircraft soon. No commercial flights are expected in the airport yet.