Air Transport: Introduction

Civil aviation occupies a special place in any account of the Kingdom's transportation systems.

In 1945 (1364 AH), Franklin D Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, presented a DC-3 Dakota to the late King Abdul Aziz. Quick to realize the contribution that air travel could make to the development of the Kingdom, the King promptly ordered two more planes.

These three planes formed the embryo of what has grown into Saudi Arabian Airlines, the Kingdom's flag carrier, and now one of the world's leading airlines - an airline which has in its fleet today more than 100 aircraft (including a number of Boeing 747s, Boeing 777s and Airbuses) and which, in early 1999, had 24 local and 52 international stations and was transporting 12.7 million passengers and 253 million kilograms of cargo. The airline continues to expand to meet increasing demand. In 2006, it handled 17.8 million passengers travelling on 142,000 domestic and international flights. It also carried 296 million kilograms of cargo.

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Profile of Saudi Arabia

The Country Profile contains thousands of pages of information on every aspect of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including its geography, history and development (political, economic and social).