Today a Flyadeal Airbus A320 was badly damaged by a drone attack conducted by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, while parked at Abha Airport, Saudi Arabia.
According to Reuters, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said that four Houthi drones were used during today’s afternoon attack; one of which hit one of the low cost carrier airplanes, which subsequently caught fire.
The three-year-old aircraft, with registration HZ-FAB, had just finished performed flight F34512 between Dammam and Abha, landing at 12:30. In the below photo the burn mark and a hole on the left side of the fuselage close to the tail section can be seen. The fire was brought under control and there were no injuries on the ground.
“The attempt to target Abha airport is a war crime and put civilian travellers’ lives in danger.”Saudi-led coalition statement
Flyadeal is a Saudi low cost airline based in Jeddah, they started operations in 2017 and serve only domestic routes. Currently they have a fleet of 12 A320’s, including 1 A320neo which they received in August of last year.
Since 2015, the Houthis has been battling the Saudi-led military coalition and have been targeting international airports; along with military installations and critical oil infrastructure. Yemen’s Houthi movement have been regularly launching drones and missiles into Saudi Arabia, many of which have been intercepted. Some however have previously hit Abha International Airport, which is about 120 km (75 miles) from the border with Yemen.