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History of the 40-50's

1945   U.S. President Roosevelt gives King Abdul Aziz a gift of a Douglas DC-3 Dakota, following their historic meeting in the Suez Canal on February 14, 1945. The DC-3 was used on routes between Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran and carried both passengers and cargo. Two more DC-3s were purchased within months  
       
1946   Saudi Arabian Airlines was set up in this year as an operating agency of the Ministry of Defense. The airline's first airport and operating base was located at Kandara, close to what is today the downtown area of Jeddah. Haj pilgrims were flown to Jeddah from Lydda, Palestine and other countries. In the same year, Saudi Arabian Airlines requested permission for charter flights to London  
       
1947   Two more Dakotas were purchased and scheduled services were operated both within the kingdom and to regional destinations such as Cairo and Damascus. The first scheduled domestic service took place on March 14th.    
       
1948   Service started to Beirut  
       
1949   The first of five Bristol 170s, Mark 21-E variant, adaptable for passengers or freight was delivered  
       
1952   Five (5) four-engine Douglas DC-4s were purchased, their greater range permitting operations to Middle Eastern destinations. Service started to Amman and Karachi  
       
1953   Services between Dhahran and Beirut were inaugurated besides starting service to Port Sudan, Asmara, Istanbul and Kuwait  
       
1954   Ten (10) Convair 340s, the airline's first pressurized aircrafts, were purchased and delivered between 1954 and 1955  
       
1955   By its tenth anniversary, the airline had brought all outlying communities of the Kingdom to within a few hours' journey of each other, both to and from Riyadh and Jeddah, which is the local transport hub for the annual Haj pilgrimage. The first maintenance shops were built in Jeddah  
       
1959   In April of this year, a daily air shuttle service between Jeddah and Riyadh was inaugurated, using the pressurized Convair-Liners  

 

 
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