Our Story

A promising start, more than 6 decades ago

The story of Malaysia Airlines started in the golden age of commercial air travel. A joint initiative of the Ocean Steamship Company of Liverpool, the Straits Steamship of Singapore and Imperial Airways led to a proposal to the Colonial Straits Settlement government to run an air service between Penang and Singapore. The result was the incorporation of Malayan Airways Limited (MAL) on 12 October 1937.

On 2 April 1947, MAL took to the skies with its first commercial flight as the national airline. Fuelled by a young and dynamic team of visionaries, the domestic carrier turned into an international airline in less than a decade.

With the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the airline changed its name to Malaysian Airlines Limited. Soon after, Borneo Airways was incorporated into MAL. Within 20 years, MAL grew from a single aircraft operator into a company with 2,400 employees and a fleet operator using the then latest Comet IV jet aircraft, six F27s, eight DCs and two Pioneers.

In 1965, with the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, MAL became a bi-national airline and was renamed Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). A new logo was introduced and the airline grew exponentially with new services to Perth, Taipei, Rome and London. However, in 1972, the partners went separate ways. Malaysia introduced Malaysian Airline Limited, which was subsequently renamed Malaysian Airline System and took to the skies on 1 October 1972. It was later branded Malaysia Airlines and continues to be the country’s national flag carrier.

Malaysia Airlines achieved a significant milestone in 2012 when it received its first Airbus A380-800 followed by a historic Malaysian record on 1 July 2012 with the launch of its A380 scheduled service between KL International Airport and London Heathrow.

On 1 February 2013, Malaysia Airlines became a full-fledged member of oneworld alliance and is now connected to some 850 destinations in 150 countries across the oneworld alliance network.

The airline holds a lengthy record of service and best practices excellence, having received more than 100 awards in the last 10 years.

Among the most notable ones are listed below.

Awarded by Skytrax UK

  • World's Best Cabin Crew (2001–2004, 2007, 2009, 2012)
  • 5-star Airline (2005–2007, 2009, 2012)
  • Best Airline Signature Dish (2012)
  • World’s Best Economy Class Award (2010)
  • Staff Service Excellence for Asia Award (2010)

Awarded by World Travel Awards

  • World’s Leading Airline to Asia (2010, 2011)
  • Asia’s Leading Airline (2010, 2011)
  • Asia’s Leading Business Class Airline (2010)

See also

Our Way Forward

The aviation market has become more competitive with the rapid increase of the low cost carrier (LCC) segment, continued growth of the Middle Eastern full service carriers and revival in the fortunes of Asian full service carriers. In view of these challenges, this Business Plan outlines our near-term recovery plan to move us to profitability by 2013, as well as a set of ‘game changers’ to sustain our performance and create a platform for continued growth for Malaysia Airlines’ future.
Executing this plan is key to our recovery. It will require complete focus and commitment to make hard and difficult decisions and the strongest determination to see these initiatives succeed.

Business Plan (2.6 MB)

Malaysia Airlines Environmental Report

The Malaysia Airlines Environment Report is a statement to declare that we recognise the airline industry contributes to the carbon footprint of the travel business. It provides a view of how Malaysia Airlines manages its carbon footprint to ensure a sustainable existence with our people, planet and that we remain financially sound.

Malaysia Airlines Environmental Report 2012 (447 KB)