The United Nations says a delegation of Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels has left Djibouti and is flying to Geneva on a U.N.-chartered plane to take part in talks aimed at ending the Yemen conflict.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the plane left Djibouti at 7:10 p.m. local time Monday evening and is scheduled to arrive in Geneva in the early hours Tuesday morning.

Houthi leader Zif al-Shami said earlier the delegation might return to Yemen's capital Sanaa after Egypt refused to allow it to land at Cairo airport, a charge Cairo denied.

Dujarric said there were "aviation issues" beyond the U.N.'s control.

"We're just glad they're on their way," he said.

The Houthis missed a meeting Monday with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who was returning to New York.