Somalia Airlines was established in March 1964 as the country’s national air carrier. It operated flights from Mogadishu to London via Cairo, as well as to Frankfurt, Germany, and to Johannesburg. The ongoing civil war in Somalia has led to the cessation of the operations of the Airline.
Somali Airlines was the national airline of Somalia. The carrier was formed with assistance from Alitalia, the Italian airline, in March 1964 as the flag carrier of Somalia. The airline went defunct at the end of 1991
The airline began operations in March 1964, with Alitalia holding a 49% stake. Very little record of the airline's history is available, particularly in terms of the extent of its routes. Using a fleet of leased Boeing 707, Somali Airlines operated flights from Mogadishu to London via Cairo, and also flew to Rome. In 1974, service commenced to Frankfurt, Germany. The airline was nationalized in 1977. From photographic archives, it can be conclusively established that the airline at least occasionally extended its network from Mogadishu to Amsterdam, Jeddah, Nairobi, Djibouti, and Addis Ababa, whereas the routes to Rome and Frankfurt appear to be the most consistent. Also, many passengers used the airline to fly to Johannesburg during the times when no other African airlines flew to South Africa. In 1989, two Airbus A310s were acquired from Sabena and Airbus Industrie to operate its "white star service" on these international routes, and were seen in Frankfurt and Rome in that year. A domestic network of some six to ten destinations, as well as regional services across the Horn of Africa, were largely undertaken with the Fokker F27 Friendship.
The political unrest in Somalia led to the cessation of all international flights at the beginning of 1991 and all operations ceased at the end of 1991.
The airline no longer operates because of a civil war in Somalia. In 2005 there were rumours that Somali businessmen had bought a Boeing 747-400 in 2006. Later that year the plane was spotted at Roissy/Charles de Gaulle airport in France. On the defunct airline's website it says that the "white star service will be back soon".
The airline began operations using Piper aircraft and later on these were replaced by the Fokker F27 Friendship. Historically, Somali Airlines used a total of 7 Boeing 707. Two leased Airbus A310 joined the fleet in late 1988 and early 1989. Also, the Dornier Do 228 was operated for a brief period of time, and at one point a Boeing 727 was leased from TAP Air Portugal.
The fuselage of one of their 707's can be seen at a private facility across from the US Air Force's AMARG, more commonly referred to as "The Boneyard".
Somali Airlines does not currently register any jet aircraft or operations, or any other presence as of June 2008.
The void created by the collapse of the airline has been partially filled more recently by carriers such as Jubba Airways, as well as Daallo Airlines and Djibouti Airlines of Djibouti. However, not since the demise of Somali Airlines have scheduled passenger flights from Mogadishu landed in Europe.