Somaliland has revoked the route licences of flydubai (FZ, Dubai International) and Air Arabia (G9, Sharjah) for allegedly following orders from Somalia to turn back when en-route to Hargeisa last month, reports Hiraan Online. Somaliland is an internationally unrecognised self-declared state within the Federal Republic of Somalia. Its capital city is Hargeisa.

A flydubai B737-800, A6-FEV (msn 40275), operating flight FZ661 from Dubai International to Hargeisa, was forced to return to the UAE on March 19 after the Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) demanded it comply with a Somali government-imposed ban on international passenger flights. The Emirati carrier has not served Hargeisa since and neither has Air Arabia.

"We can confirm this did happen and we are maintaining an open dialogue with the relevant authorities," a flydubai spokesperson told ch-aviation in a statement. Air Arabia did not respond for comment.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module for the week commencing July 13, flydubai offers a daily service to Hargeisa from Dubai, while Air Arabia provides a 3x weekly operation on the 1,148-nautical mile (2,127-kilometre) sector from Sharjah.