Saudia is the national carrier airline of Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah. The airline’s main operational base is at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh and King Fahd International Airport in Dammam are secondary hubs. The new Dammam airport was opened for commercial use on 28 November 1999. Dhahran International Airport in use until then, has reverted to being used as a military base. The airline is the third largest in the Middle East in terms of revenue, behind Emirates and Qatar Airways. It operates domestic and international scheduled flights to over 85 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Domestic and international charter flights are operated, mostly during the Ramadan and the Hajj season. Saudia is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization and joined the SkyTeam airline alliance on 29 May 2012.
When U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt presented a Douglas DC-3 as a gift to King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud in 1945, the event marked the Kingdom’s gradual development of civil aviation. The nation’s flag carrier, Saudia, was founded as Saudi Arabian Airlines in September 1945 as a fully owned government agency under the control of the Ministry of Defense, with TWA running the airline under a management contract.
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