The Somali Airlines was once a very successful and profitable venture. Founded in March 1964, the airline was co-owned by the Federal Government of Somalia and Alitalia on a 50/50 equal share basis.
The airline began its operations in July of 1964, primarily serving domestic destinations, before eventually embarking on international destinations in the following year. In 1977, the airline was fully acquired by the Somali government. Somali Airlines has close technical cooperation with Lufthansa where most of the pilots and mechanics were trained in Germany.
The outbreak of civil war in the early 1990s inflicted a major setback for the airline, leading to its closure in 1991. Although other private airlines, including Jubba Airways and Dallo Airlines among others, have continued operating in Somalia, the impact of the collapse of the national airline has continued to be felt among Somali nationals.