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Ashby goes from IndiGo to Sama

27th November 2008 - 10:33 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Saudi Arabian low-fare airline Sama has announced that Bruce Ashby, former president and CEO of IndiGo, is to succeed the airline's co-founder Andrew Cowen as CEO on 1 December. After nearly four years leading the start-up and initial growth phase of Sama, Cowen decided that on expiry of his contract with Sama in December 2008 it was time to hand over the day-to-day management to a new CEO, to help take Sama through the next phase of its growth.

Sama chairman, HRH Prince Bandar Bin Khalid AlFaisal, said: “I would like to thank Andrew for his relentless efforts and huge contribution that made Sama what it is today. Despite many obstacles, he has brought into being the common vision we both shared from our very first meeting, of a quality, low fares airline for Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. At the same time, I would like to welcome Bruce Ashby as a valuable addition to the Sama family. We look forward to Bruce continuing to take Sama forward, as we seek to become the leading and best low fares airline throughout the Middle East.”

Ashby led IndiGo for three years through its launch and initial growth, having previously been EVP marketing and planning at US Airways and president of US Airways Express. He was highly instrumental in launching Embraer E-Jets with the airline. “I am very honoured and excited to take on the opportunity of continuing the development and growth of Sama, which has quickly established itself as one of the leading, emerging new airlines in the Middle East. I look forward to working with the Board and Sama team to take Sama through the next stage of its expansion," Ashby remarked.

Regarding his departure, Cowen commented, “Leading Sama on behalf of Prince Bandar, the shareholders and the Board, from inception through to its successful launch and expansion, has been an honour and a privilege. With Sama having achieved profitability in August and September of this year, with 1.5m guests carried to date and with an international route network spanning the Middle East, I believe now is the right time to hand over the day-to-day leadership. I extend my best wishes to Bruce who takes on a great Sama team, without which none of Sama’s considerable accomplishments would have been possible”

The Shephard News Team


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