PALMDALE, Calif., Aug. 1 --The first L.1011 TriStar for Saudi Arabian Airlines enters service this month.
PALMDALE, Calif., Aug. 1 --The first L.1011 TriStar for Saudi Arabian Airlines enters service this month. A second soon will fly away from Lockheed's commercial transport base in the California desert.
Saudi's TriStars will be the first extended-range versions of the jetliner, although well over 100 of the basic model have been delivered.
For Saudi's first delivery ceremony, honoured guests arrived by chartered Lockheed Electra.
The flight test hangar became the setting for luncheon, then the traditional signing of documents and "handover" of aircraft logbook and keys to the airline's director general, His Excellency Sheikh Kamil sindi, by Lockheed-California Company president, D. O. Wood.
Lockheed Vice President Charles de Bedts paid tribute to Saudi leadership over 30 years:
The prophet Mohammed said, "A man's true wealth is the good he does in the world." sheik Kamil sindi has been doing for his airline, and for his country, and most recently, and especially now, he has been doing a great deal of good for the airline industry around the world. For the good that he's doing, according to Mohammed, he is a wealthy man, indeed.
This is a day that we at Lockheed have been looking forward to for a long time. For more than a decade, our corporation has enjoyed a close working relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
We at Lockheed feel that the TriStar is being introduced at just the right time to benefit Saudi. It offers range, performance and reliability, along with necessary increases in both passenger and cargo capacity for the airline.
With these new giants of the sky go our heartfelt best wishes to Saudi, its passengers and cargo customers, and to the entire kingdom.
It gives me great pleasure to be with you today to celebrate this great occasion in the history of our airline, the occasion of Saudi's taking delivery of the first of its four wide-bodied L-1011 TriStars. Saudi indeed prides itself on being the first Arab carrier to enter the new generation jet age with the purchase of the TriStar aircraft.
Our decision to introduce this advanced and luxurious type of aircraft was not conceived on the spur of the moment, but came as a result of careful and serious studies which took into consideration the huge steps being taken by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia toward industrial development. We have many plans for the L-1011 TriStar, but at present we have two priorities: to play a greater in the industrial advancement of the country, and to carry Muslim pilgrims from various parts of the world to perform pilgrimage in the Holy places of Mecca and Medina.
Saudi's growth rates over the past several years are the envy of the industry. Passengers and revenue passenger kilometres are forecast to increase over 100 per cent in the three year period, 1975 against 1975. This same growth rate, 100 per cent, is forecast to occur again in two years, that is, by 1977.
I believe that our new TriStars, along with the big jet fleet we already have, will add a new element of comfortable travel both in our country and on the international routes where they will fly.
Ladies and gentlemen, before I conclude I would like to say how proud I am that we have with us here an all-Saudi cockpit crew for the new aircraft and also the cabin crew.
The cockpit crew and the cabin crew will fly the airplane to Saudi Arabia.
All four of saudi's TriStars will be delivered by 1977. And all will be extended range versions. Each will carry 253 passengers in a luxurious interior.