An Illustrated History of the Largest Airline in the Middle East. There is also a description of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage that is one of the Five Pillars of Islam [...]
|Book cover finish
|Hardcover with dust jacket
|Close to new
|Number of pages
|28 x 22 x 1 cm
|Airlife Publishing Ltd
This is the fifth book in Paladwr Press’s acclaimed series of Great Airlines of the World. Previous volumes have been of airline representative of the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Now it is the turn of Saudia, the largest airline in the Middle East (and the 25th largest in the world). The publication coincides with the airline’s 50th anniversary.
The progress made to achieve this status has been truly remarkable. Starting in 1945, it was the only effective means of transport for several years, as the country possessed only a few hundred miles of paved roads, and, at that time, no railways. By a steady progression, from veteran piston-engined DC-3s, to pressurized twins, then to twinjets, and finally to wide-bodied TriStars, Airbuses, and Boeing 747s, Saudia’s domestic route network has grown to rank as the seventh largest in the world.
The international routes, meanwhile, reached global dimensions, serving destinations in the United States in the west to Tokyo in the east. Possibly more than any other major airline, the Kingdom’s national air carrier has been more than just a contributor to the economic growth; it has been an important and vital element of that growth. The book includes a section dealing with the history of Arabia from the earliest times, leading into the creation of the Saudi Kingdom, and illustrating the astonishing transformation from a rural and nomadic society to one of the world’s leading commercial and industrial nations today.
There is also a description of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage that is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Spectacular photographs illustrate the magnitude of this mass movement of people; maps illustrate both the extent of the Muslim world and the worldwide pattern of air travel in which Saudia has always played a prominent part. – The two aircraft illustrated on the front cover are the Airbus A300-600, for which Saudia was the launch customer, and the veteran Douglas DC-3. The former flies on Saudia’s main trunk routes today (including Riyadh-Jeddah, one of the world’s busiest), the latter was the one that opened the first service, back in 1945.