Sama Airlines To Discontinue PSO Routes

Sama Airlines announced it has decided to end its public service obligation (PSO) flights due to a “long running delay in the formulation of a comprehensive aviation policy within Saudi Arabia.”  Bruce Ashby, CEO of Sama, explained the carrier has been operating PSO flights at a large loss since it began operations in March 2007. Ashby said Sama is mandated by the government to operate the flights, but because of limited passenger demand, limits on fares, and zero subsidies or waivers, “our business simply can not afford to continue operating PSO routes without having these issues resolved”.

Sama’s PSO routes included Damman and Hail, Hail and Gurayat, Hail and Raffa, Hail and Tabak, and Damman and Bisha.  Customers who had booked flights on Sama PSO routes after Monday will be given a refund.  A spokesman for the airline said Sama will continue flying all of its other existing routes across the Kingdom and nearby countries.

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