Mango Aviation Prepares Low Fare Saudi Arabian Airline for Take-Off
April 19, 2007, Press Dispensary. A new airline is taking to the skies over Saudi Arabia after being set up by Mango Aviation Partners (http://www.mangoaviation.com), a UK based advisory business which specialises in the start-up of low fare airlines. Mango was awarded the contract to set up Sama by HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid al Faisal, founder and chairman of the newly launched airline.
Mango was founded in 2004 by former senior executives of Go and Easyjet, and has worked on low fare airline start-ups all over the world.
Sama’s maiden flight from Dammam to Jeddah on March 18 marked the successful completion of Mango’s latest project. Mango's role has included providing an interim management team, fundraising, gaining regulatory approval, acquiring aircraft, and negotiating supplier contracts.
Sama is a short haul carrier covering Saudi Arabian destinations such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Gizan, Madinah and Dammam. It plans to expand to other Saudi Arabian and Middle East destinations in due course.
Michael Coltman, director of Mango, said: “The process of setting up a new airline inevitably throws up difficulties and challenges. The regulatory process can be something of a minefield, but Mango has worked hard to make this as smooth as possible."
He added: “The launch of Sama marks a significant landmark in the aviation history of Saudi Arabia, and adds to Mango’s expanding catalogue of successfully completed projects.”
Mango’s involvement with the new airline began in May 2005, when it was appointed to prepare a feasibility study. The results were highly positive, and Mango was subsequently commissioned to lead the set-up of the new airline, publicly named as Sama in February 2006.
Its services have included the provision of an interim management team with many years of low fares airline experience. This helped smooth an important path towards start-up, and the team is now being gradually replaced by locally recruited staff.
Mango also advised Sama on its successful capital fundraising, leading investor presentations which eventually resulted in 30 private and institutional shareholders investing $50 million to fund the airline’s launch.
In December 2006, Mango’s efforts to lead Sama through the regulatory approval process resulted in the airline gaining one of only two national air carrier licences to be awarded in Saudi Arabia – and against some tough competition. It also helped the airline secure its General Authority of Civil Aviation / Federal Aviation Authority part 121 air operator’s certificate in March 2007.
Mango assisted Sama in securing its launch fleet, comprising four Boeing 737-300 aircraft on five-year lease terms. It also negotiated vital supplier contracts, including Sama’s award of aircraft maintenance services to SR Technics.
Mango additionally arranged the legal and organisational set-up of the company, covering all departments, processes, and procedures.
HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid al Faisal said: “Mango has been pivotal to the set-up and successful launch of Sama. Without Mango’s low fares expertise, we would have had much greater difficulty securing the necessary regulatory approvals, and achieving a successful launch.”
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Notes for editors
Mango is a UK based advisory firm specialising in the start-up of low fares airlines. It was founded in 2004 by former senior executives of Go and Easyjet, and has worked on low fare airline start-ups all over the world. In addition to Sama, Mango’s clients have included Jetstar Asia, in Singapore; Go Airlines, in India; and Silverjet, a new long haul low fare airline floated recently on London’s Alternative Investment Market.
For further information, please contact:
Michael Coltman, director
Mango Aviation Partners
Tel: 0774 7790656