” Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia)” the national carrier in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrates its diamond jubilee, as this month passes 75 years since the company was established, which has become one of the largest international airlines companies, and a distinctive brand in the world.
Saudia has gained wide fame in the world of aviation, and succeeded in reaping the loyalty of millions travelers, and won hundreds of international awards owed in the various parts of aviation, travel, hospitality, entertainment and more.
How it started?
The establishment of Saudi Airlines dates back to May 1945, when the US President “Franklin D. Roosevelt” gifted one “Dakota DC-3” plane to King Abdulaziz after the historic meeting in the Great Bitter Lake in February 1945 .
The first plane dedicated to King Abdulaziz was transferred to a square in Jeddah, which latter was known as the plane square, it was removed in 2005.
Coinciding with the establishment of the Ministry of Defense in 1946, and the appointment of His Royal Highness Prince Mansour bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on it, King Abdulaziz issued his order to establish Saudi Airlines, and to make it a government department of the Ministry of Defense.
In 1963, the Saudi Airlines became an independent institution according to Royal Decree No. 45 issued by King Faisal – and His Excellency Major General Ibrahim Al-Tassan took over the management of the lines from 1946 to 1960.
During the 1940s, the company expanded to serve new international destinations, including Cairo, Beirut, and Damascus, and flights were operated within the Kingdom.
In the 1950s, the company added several cities to its map, including Istanbul, Karachi, Amman, Kuwait City, Asmara and Port Sudan, and purchased four new DC4 planes and ten Conver 340 aircraft.
In the seventies of the last century, the operational name was changed to “Saudi Arabia”, its logo was changed and more Boeing 747 and 737 aircraft were purchased. Likewise, the “L-110” TRESTstar 110 aircraft from Lockheed and opened more destinations, especially in Europe and the United States.
In the 1980s, the company added catering services.
The Saudi Arabian Airlines is the only one that flies over four continents in the same flight, when the plane flies from Jeddah, passing through Asia, Africa, and Europe to North America, to land in New York.
In the 1990s, smoking was banned on the airline’s flights on all domestic and international flights, and the company changed its logo in 1997.
At the beginning of the new millennium, the company began preparing for its privatization and achieved its first operating profit in 2002.
The lines now have more than 75 international and domestic destinations, its main headquarters are King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, with branches at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabian Airlines provides services to more than 75 destinations in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
The Saudi Arabian Airlines is a member of the Arab Air Transport Association.
For the first time since its foundation, the number of guests on international Saudi Airlines flights in 2018 exceeded the number of guests in the internal sector, as the number of passengers who transported those more than 34 million passengers, 17 million of them on the international sector.
Perhaps these successes reflect the direction of Saudi Airlines to expand international operation and enhance its position among international airlines and increase its share in the international transport market.
This prompted the company to continuously update the growing operational rates to reflect the escalating and comprehensive growth witnessed by the corporation, its companies and its strategic units within the framework of the transformation program that is currently being implemented in line with the national transformation program.