Malaysia Airlines

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Malaysia Airlines Boeing 747-400 (9M-MPK)
The nose of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 747-400 (9M-MPN)

Malaysia Airlines (Malaysia Airline System Berhad) is the national airline of Malaysia, serving international and domestic destinations.


Code Data

  • IATA Code: MH
  • ICAO Code: MAS
  • Callsign: Malaysian


Malaysia Airlines began in 1947 as Malayan Airways but was renamed Malaysian Airways following the creation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. Following the independence of Singapore from Malaysia, it was renamed Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) in 1966. MSA ceased operations in 1972 after the formation of two separate entities - Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines. The Singaporean Government wanted to develop its international operations, while Malaysia wanted the airline to first focus on domestic and regional growth before finally becoming fully international. The airline needs of the two countries were not compatible.

When MSA was split up, the assets of the former MSA were divided unequally, though Singapore was made to pay for substantial amount of the imbalance. Singapore Airlines kept all the Boeing 737s and 707s, all international routes out of Singapore and MSA's high rise headquarters in Singapore. MAS was left with only a handful of Fokker F27s, domestic Malaysian routes, and international routes out of Malaysia, beginning service on those routes on 1 October 1972.

Less than a year after being formed, MAS acquired four new Boeing 737-200s, and later, three Boeing 707-320s. In 1976 MAS acquired its first wide-bodied jet, the DC-10-30. In 1979 Airbus A300s began service. The first Boeing 747 for MAS was a series -200 arriving in 1982.

In 1987 the airline began using its current name (Malaysia Airlines).


Incidents and Accidents

In 1977, one of its Boeing 737s (9M-MBD) was hijacked and crashed in Tanjung Kupang, Johore killing 100 people aboard.

In 1983, an Airbus A300 leased from SAS (OY-KAA) crashed short of the runway in Subang Airport in poor weather, with no fatalities.

In 1995, a Fokker F50 crashed during approach in Tawau, Sabah due to wind shear. 34 passengers were killed.



MAS flies to numerous destinations in Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa and South America. It was the first airline in Southeast Asia to fly to Johannesburg in South Africa, following the demise of apartheid.

List of Destinations



Today, Malaysia Airlines flies Boeing 747, Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft for its medium to long haul international routes, while the Boeing 737 is often used for shorter international destinations and domestic flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the airline's base.

Malaysia Airlines has expressed interest in purchasing the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and has signed a deal for 6 Airbus 380-800 aircraft. The first A380 will be delivered in early 2007 under a lease deal from its holding company Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad (PMB) and it will be used to provide additional capacity on trunk routes to Europe (ref: Airliner World, March 2005).

In spite of enormous financial difficulties during the 1997 economic crisis, requiring the government to renationalise the airline, quality has consistently been excellent and it is considered to be one of the very best airlines in the world, rated 4th in the world and winning the Best Cabin Crew Award from Skytrax again in 2004 for the fourth consecutive year. The strength of the airline has always been the warm, friendly, sincere disposition of the cabin crew.

It is one of the few airlines that provides personal LCD monitors for inflight entertainment even in Economy class. It has been rated as a four-star airline by Skytrax. (recently upgraded to 5 star) The airline also has a reputation for producing world class pilots.

A cabin refurbishment is in progress on the first class cabins on aircraft deployed on long hauls (B747-400 and B777-200ER). New uniforms will also be introduced for cabin crews as well as enhanced onboard catering.


Recent Events

On 24 February2005, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines/Silkair agreed to seek greater commercial cooperation that will enhance their competitiveness and benefit consumers as Asia moves towards an open skies policy. The three airlines signed a tripartite codeshare agreement today that will empower travellers with wider options and more connectivity when flying between the two countries. Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, which is the regional airline of the Singapore Airlines Group, will start codeshare flights with Malaysia Airlines between Singapore and Kuching, and Singapore and Kota Kinabalu from 27 March 2005, the start of the Northern Summer 2005 Schedule. (Appendix 1)

The Singapore – Penang sector will be codeshared between Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines only. For the SilkAir-operated Singapore-Kuching sector, the codeshare with Malaysia Airlines will start from July 1.


Other Facts

  • Malaysia Airlines is the only Asian airline to offer services to Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires.
  • Malaysia Airlines flies to over 100 destinations across six continents.
  • Malaysia Airlines' headquarters are located straight ahead from one of the runways at Kuala Lumpur's international airport.
  • First airline to have a Business Center onboard a plane.
  • First airline to provide air to ground retail transactions, aboard the B777 and some B747 aircraft.
  • First airline to offer a 10.4 inch in seat screen for First Class
  • Awards won include "Best First Class Service" and "Top Five For Business Class In Long Haul" both by Inflight Research Services,UK.
  • Boasts their own inflight magazine,Going Places, their own catering services, MAS Catering(MCSB) and their own travel agency, MAS Golden Holidays.

External Links

  • Malaysia Airlines Homepage - Global
  • Malaysia Airlines Homepage - Malaysia
  • Malaysia Airlines Homepage - Australia
  • Malaysia Airlines Homepage - Europe
  • Malaysia Airlines Homepage - Taiwan
  • Aviation Photos - Malaysia Airlinesde:Malaysia Airlines

fr:Malaysia Airlines ja:マレーシア航空 ms:Sistem Penerbangan Malaysia Template:Airlistbox



News RSS feed
  • PM: Malaysia Airlines Can Restructure - Houston Chronicle
  • Malaysia Airlines Closes Flat After Q3 Net Loss - Bernama
  • Malaysia Airlines Losses May Top $266M - MSN Money
  • Malaysia Airlines Loses RM1Bil (226mil euro) - Luchtzak Aviation
  • Penang Unhappy With MAS Plan To Cut London-Penang-KLIA Route - Bernama
  • Petrol price hikes: Time to invest heavily in public transport - Aliran Monthly
  • Intermission: Looking for the bright side of bad news - New Straits Times
  • MAS travel fair extended to March 1 - Malay Mail
  • Malaysia Airlines voted 'Best to Asia' - Financial Express
  • ... more news

Related articles

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Image:Wikipedia-small.png Wikipedia article about Malaysia Airlines (search). This article uses material from that article.

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