Saudi low-cost private airline Sama, launched in 2007 to serve Gulf and other Arab states, said it is to suspend services from Tuesday due to financial problems.It was Sama’s only choice left “after several months of searching for alternatives to avoid suspending our operations,” the airline?s CEO Bruce Ashby said in a statement.
The carrier “had been awaiting a significant aviation relief package with respect to fuel subsidies … a gradual lifting of domestic fare caps, and additional funds to support past losses and growth of our business,” it said. “We also tried to find strategic investors who are ready to invest in the company and pump the necessary liquidity to enable Sama to operate.” However, “none of these solutions were available in the right time to continue. But Ashby said Sama still hoped “to reach the necessary financing solutions to allow us to resume domestic and international flights in coming days.”
Sama first took to the air in 2007, serving 10 destinations in the kingdom and neighboring countries, including flights to Jordan, Egypt, Syria and the United Arab Emirates, reaching the level of 164 flights a week.
The company, which owns six Boeing 737-300 planes, said normal flights would continue on Monday and it would provide passengers who had reservations for Tuesday with alternative bookings.