The airline was established on 4 August 1961 as Yemen Airlines and started operations in 1962. Its head office was in the Ministry of Communication Building in Sana'a."World Airline Directory." Flight International. 26 March 1970. . It was reorganized and renamed Yemen Airways in 1972, following nationalisation. The Yemenia name was adopted on 1 July 1978, following the joint establishment early in 1977 of a new airline by the governments of the Yemen Arab Republic, now Republic of Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.