Malaysia Airlines (MAS) (Malay:Syarikat Penerbangan Malaysia; Chinese:马来西亚航空公司; ) is the flag carrier of Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines operates flights from its home base, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and its secondary hub in Kota Kinabalu. Despite a financial restructuring exercise in 2006, Malaysia Airlines maintains a strong presence in Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Middle East and on the Kangaroo Route between Europe and Australasia. Malaysia Airlines also operates transatlantic flights from Kuala Lumpur to Newark, via Stockholm, and transpacific flights from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles, via Taipei. In 1997, the airline flew the world's longest non-commercial, non-stop flight from Boeing Field in Seattle to Kuala Lumpur, flying eastward passing the European and African continents and breaking the Great Circle Distance Without Landing record for an airliner on a Boeing 777-200ER longer than the record held by the Boeing 777-200LR.
Malaysia Airlines non-aeronautical revenue sources include maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and aircraft handling. Malaysia Airlines has two airline subsidiaries: Firefly and MASWings. Firefly operates scheduled flights from its home base Penang International Airport which focus on tertiary cities, while MASWings focuses on inter-Borneo flights. Malaysia Airlines has a freighter fleet operated by MASKargo, which manages freighter flights and aircraft cargo-hold capacity for all Malaysia Airlines' passenger flights. MASCharter is another subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, operating charter flights using Malaysia Airlines' passenger jets. After recovering from past losses, Malaysia Airlines is keen on merger and acquisition (M&A) activities: particularly airlines in the Asia Pacific region. Malaysia Airlines was ranked second with score 88 in Aviation Week's Top Performing Companies which accurately measures financial viability of an airline.
Since its inception in 1963, after Malayan Airways was separated into two parts, Malaysia Airlines has built up a strong brand name in the aviation industry for service and safety , coupled with numerous awards from international bodies such as Skytrax.. Malaysia Airlines is accredited by International Air Transport Association with IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) for its operational safety practices.
It is one of only six airlines to be given a 5-star status airline by Skytrax (the other 5 are Asiana Airlines from South Korea, Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong, Qatar Airways from Qatar, Singapore Airlines from Singapore and Kingfisher Airlines from India).
On 12 October, 1937, the Liverpool-based Singaporean Steamshipping Company and Imperial Airways proposed to the colonial governments in Penang and Singapore a scheduled flight service between the two cities. Malayan Airways Limited (MAL) was founded, but the first paying passengers could be welcomed on board a plane only 10 years later, on 2 February 1947. The airline's first flight was a charter flight from the British Straits Settlement of Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, on 2 April 1947, using an Airspeed Consul twin-engined aircraft. This inaugural flight, with only five passengers, was bound for Kuala Lumpur instead of Penang. Weekly scheduled flights quickly followed from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang from 1 May 1947 with the same aircraft type. The airline continued to expand during the rest of the 1940s and 1950's, as other British Commonwealth airlines (such as BOAC and Qantas Empire Airways) provided technical assistance, as well as assistance in joining IATA. By 1955, Malayan Airways' fleet had grown to include a large number of Douglas DC-3s, and went public in 1957. Other aircraft operated in the first two decades included the Douglas DC-4 Skymaster, the Vickers Viscount, the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, the Bristol Britannia, the De Havilland Comet 4 and the Fokker F27. Over the next few years, the airline expanded rapidly, boosted by post-war air travel demand when flying became more than a privilege for the rich and famous. By 12 April 1960, the airline was operating Douglas DC-3s, Super Constellations and Viscounts on new routes from Singapore to Hong Kong, and from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok via Penang. Flights were also introduced from Singapore to cities in the Borneo Territories, including Brunei, Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu), Kuching, Sandakan and Sibu.
In 1957, the airline became a state-run stock corporation. With the delivery of an 84-seat Bristol Britannia in 1960, the airline launched its first long-haul international flight, to Hong Kong. When Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the airline's name was changed, from "Malayan Airways" to "Malaysian Airlines" (though still abbreviated to MAS). MAS also took over Borneo Airways. In 1966, following Singapore's separation from the federation, the airline's name was changed again, to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). The next year saw a rapid expansion in the airline's fleet and routes, including the purchase of MSA's first Boeing aircraft: the Boeing 707s, as well as completion of a new high-rise headquarters in Singapore. Boeing 737s were added to the fleet soon afterward.
The differing needs of the two shareholders, however, led to the break-up of the airline just 6 years later. The Singapore government preferred to develop the airline's international routes, while the Malaysian government had no choice but to develop the domestic network first before going regional and eventually international. MSA ceased operations in 1972, with its assets split between two new airlines; Malaysia Airlines Berhad (now Malaysia Airlines), and Singapore Airlines.
With the Singapore government determined to develop Singapore Airlines' international routes, it took the entire fleet of seven Boeing 707s and five Boeing 737s, which would allow it to continue servicing its regional and long-haul international routes. Since most of MSA's international routes were flown out of Singapore, the majority of international routes were in the hands of Singapore Airlines. In addition, MSA's headquarters, which was located in Singapore, became the headquarters of Singapore Airlines.
The initials MSA were well regarded as an airline icon, and both carriers tried to use them. Malaysian went for MAS by just transposing the last two letters and choosing the name Malaysian Airline System, while Singapore originally proposed the name Mercury Singapore Airlines to keep the MSA initials, but changed its mind and went for SIA instead. Acronyms for airline names later became less fashionable, and both carriers then moved on to their descriptive names.
Malaysian Airline System took all domestic routes within Malaysia and international routes out of that country, as well as the remaining fleet of Fokker F27's. It began flights on 1 October 1972. Soon after that, Malaysia Airline System rapidly expanded its services, including introducing long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur to London.
In the same year, MAS operated flights to more than 34 regional destinations and six international services. In 1976, after receiving its DC-10-30 aircraft, MAS scheduled flights reached Europe, with initial services from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt.
An economic boom in Malaysia during the 1980s helped spur growth at Malaysia Airlines. By the end of the decade, MAS was flying to 47 overseas destinations, including eight European destinations, seven Oceania destinations, and the United States destinations of Los Angeles and Honolulu. In 1993, Malaysia Airlines reached South America when the airline received its B747 aircraft. When Malaysia Airlines introduced its service from Kuala Lumpur to South America, MAS became the first and only airline in Southeast Asia to serve South America via its flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Services extended to Central America when Malaysia Airlines began flying to Mexico City in the 1980s, which route was terminated in the 1990s.
The airline recovered from its losses in the year 2002/2003. It achieved its then-highest profit in the year 2003/2004, totaling RM461 million.
In the year 2005, Malaysia Airlines reported a loss of RM1.3 billion. Revenue for the financial period was up by 10.3% or RM826.9 million, compared to the same period for 2004, driven by a 10.2% growth in passenger traffic. International passenger revenue increased by RM457.6 million or 8.4%, to RM5.9 billion, while cargo revenue decreased by RM64.1 million or 4.2%, to RM1.5 billion. Costs increased by 28.8% or RM2.3 billion, amounting to a total of RM 10.3 billion, primarily due to escalating fuel prices. Other cost increases included staff costs, handling and landing fees, aircraft maintenance and overhaul charges, Widespread Assets Unbundling (WAU) charges and leases..
The Government of Malaysia appointed Idris Jala as the new CEO on 1 December 2005, to execute changes in operations and corporate culture. Several weaknesses in airline operations were identified as the causes of the RM1.3 billion loss. These included esclating fuel prices, increased maintenance and repair costs, staff costs, low yield per available seat kilometer ("ASK") via poor yield management and an inefficient route network. Under the leadership of Idris Jala, Malaysia Airlines launched its Business Turnaround Plan in 2006, developed using the Malaysian Government's Government-linked company (GLC) Transformation Manual as a guide.
The most substantial factor in the losses was fuel costs. For the period, the total fuel cost was RM3.5 billion, representing a 40.4% increase compared to the same period in 2004. Total fuel cost increases comprised RM977.8 million due to higher fuel prices and another RM157.6 million due to additional consumption. In the third quarter, fuel costs were RM1.26 billion, compared to the RM1.01 billion in the corresponding period in 2004, resulting in a 24.6% increase or RM249.3 million.
Another factor for the losses was high operating costs. MAS substantially lagged its peers on yield. Some of this gap is due to differences in traffic mix,(less business traffic to and from Malaysia than to and from Singapore), but much of it was due to weaknesses in pricing and revenue management, sales and distribution, brand presence in foreign markets, and alliance base. Malaysia Airlines has one of the lowest labor costs per ASK at USD0.41, compared to other airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines at USD0.59 and USD0.60 respectively. However, despite its low labor cost, the ratio of ASK revenue (millions) to this cost was, at 2.8, much lower than Singapore Airlines, where the ratio is 5.0, and slightly higher than Thai International Airways
There are other factors listed in the Business Turnaround Plan of Malaysia Airlines, all leading to the net loss of RM1.3 billion in the year 2005.
Under the various initiatives, launched together with the Business Turnaround Plan, Malaysia Airlines turned losses into profits between FY2006 and FY2007. When the Business Turnaround Plan came to an end, the airline posted a record profit of 851 million Ringgit (265 million dollars) in 2007, ending a series of losses since 2005. The result exceeded the target of RM300 Million by 184%..
Among the initiatives that turned losses back into profit, route rationalizing was one of the major contributors. Malaysia Airlines pared its domestic routes from 114 to 22, and also canceled virtually all unprofitable international routes (such as Kuala Lumpur-Manchester, that required a 140% load factor to break even). Apart from that, Malaysia Airlines also rescheduled all of its flight timings and changed its operations model from point to point services to hub and spoke services.
Additionally, the airline started Project Omega and Project Alpha to improve the company's network and revenue management. Emphasis has been placed on six areas: pricing, revenue management, network scheduling, opening storefronts, low season strategy and distribution management.
The Everyday Low Fares programme offers a maximum of 30% of the total seats on every flight which are unsold due to the average load factor of 70% on each flights. Thus, Malaysia Airlines is generating income for the airline through fuel surcharge, administrative fee and airport tax. By May 14, 2008, Malaysia Airlines has sold more than 150,000 seats since the launch of the programme and 50,000 tickets has been sold in the first two days.. Malaysia Airlines is also extending the programme to all Asean routes operated by Malaysia Airlines.
However, the Everyday Low Fares programme launched by Malaysia Airlines has been strongly opposed by Asia's largest low cost carrier, AirAsia which claims that Malaysia Airlines is competing directly with AirAsia's business model but at the same time not allowing the budget carrier to compete against the national airline.
Following the Widespread Asset Unbundling (WAU) restructuring of Malaysia Airlines, Malaysian Government investment arm and holding company, Khazanah Nasional's subsidiary, Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad is the majority shareholder with a 52.0% stake. After Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad, the second-largest shareholder is Khazanah Nasional, which holds 17.33% of the shares. Minority shareholders include Employees Provident Fund Board (10.72%), Amanah Raya Nominees (Tempatan) Sdn Bhd (5.69%), State Financial Secretary Sarawak (2.71%), foreign shareholders (5.13%) and Warisan Harta Sabah (2.4%). It has 19,546 employees (as of March, 2007).. Malaysia Government has been reporting that the government's holding company, Khazanah Nasional is keen on selling shares of Malaysia Airlines to remain globally competitive in an industry which is fast-consolidating.
Some of the subsidiaries include:
|Company||Type||Principal activities||Incorporated in||Group's Equity Shareholding|
|Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn. Bhd||Subsidiary||Cargo||Malaysia||100%|
|MASWings Sdn. Bhd.||Subsidiary||Airline||Malaysia||100%|
|Firefly Sdn. Bhd.||Subsidiary||Airline||Malaysia||100%|
|MAS Aerotechnologies Sdn Bhd||Subsidiary||MRO||Malaysia||100%|
|MAS Golden Holidays Sdn Bhd||Subsidiary||Tour operator||Malaysia||100%|
|Malaysian Aerospace Engineering Sdn Bhd||Subsidiary||Engineering||Malaysia||100%|
|MAS Academy Sdn Bhd||Subsidiary||Flight school||Malaysia||100%|
|Abacus Distribution Systems (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd||Subsidiary||Computer reservation system||Malaysia||80%|
|Taj Madras Air Catering Limited||Associate||Catering||India||20%|
|MAS Catering (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd||Subsidiary||Catering||Sarawak||60%|
|LSG Sky Chefs||Associate||Holding company||Malaysia||30%|
|Year ended/(Quarter Ended)|| Revenue|
after Tax (RM '000)
Fund (RM '000)
| EPS after tax|
|31 December 2002||8,864,385||8,872,391||336,531||2,562,841||38.7|
|31 December 2003||8,780,820||8,591,157||461,143||3,023,984||36.8|
|31 December 2004||11,364,309||11,046,764||326,07||3,318,732||26.0|
|31 December 2005||9,181,338||10,434,634||(1,251,603)||2,009,857||(100.20)|
|31 December 2006||13,489,549||13,841,607||(133,737)||1,873,452||(10.90)|
|31 December 2007||15,288,640||14,460,299||852,743||3,934,893||58.05|
|(30 June 2008)||7,527,569||7,332,642||160,508||3,935,000²||6.77²|
The airline runs a training program for cabin and flight crew to ensure that the Malaysia Airlines brand experience is delivered correctly. The airline's repute, and the resulting prestige of the job, has allowed it to be highly selective during its recruitment process. Of every thousand candidates who go for interviews, only 50 or 60 are chosen.
Malaysia Airlines introduced Sarong Kebaya design in 1 March, 1986 for female flight attendants. It was designed by the School of Fashion at Mara Institute of Technology (Institut Teknologi Mara) and later known as Mara University of Technology (Universiti Teknologi Mara). The batik material depicts the kelarai motif, which is a bamboo weave pattern. It appears in the background in subdued hues of the basic uniform color. Superimposed on the kelarai motif is a mixture of Malaysian flora, such as the cempaka, jasmine and the leaves of the hibiscus. The geometric Sarawakian motif is used for the lapels of the baju, edges of sleeves and the sarong. On 1 January 1993, the colors of the batik were enhanced to complement the color of the new uniform. The male flight attendant wear Ottanio color jackets. The uniforms of the Singapore Girls (stewardesses of Singapore Airlines) are similar to Malaysia Airlines' female flight attendants uniform.
;Color Code of female flight attendants:
The history of the airline started in 1937, when Malayan Airways Limited was registered as a company. Flying operations started in 1947, with the aircraft bearing the symbol of a Winged Tiger. In 1963, the airline was renamed Malaysian Airways Limited, when the Federation of Malaysia was formed. Subsequently, Borneo Airways Limited was absorbed by Malaysian Airways Limited. In 1965, with the political separation of Singapore from Malaysia, there was continued participation by the governments of Malaysia and Singapore in the airline. In 1967, the company changed its name to Malaysia-Singapore Airline Limited (MSA), which was the joint national air carrier for both countries, and a new logo was introduced.
In 1971, Malaysia-Singapore Airline Limited was separated into two airlines, each with its own policies and objectives, leading to the birth of Malaysia's flag carrier, Malaysian Airline System (MAS), on 3 April 1971. The name was chosen because, in abbreviated form, MAS(as in EMAS) in Malay means gold, to symbolize quality service.
A new corporate logo designed by Mara Institute of Technology (Institut Teknologi Mara) later known as Mara University of Technology (Universiti Teknologi Mara) was introduced on 15 October 1987, retaining the essence of the moon kite, with a sheared swept-back look. Along with the new corporate logo, a new type style - MALAYSIA, was created. It is italicized to slant parallel with the logo to accentuate speed as well as direction. Within this corporate typestyle, the letters MAS bear red clippings to denote the initials of the statutory name of the airline, Malaysian Airline System (MAS), and were added after the original design was rejected by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir. The introduction of blue to the original red logo has national significance. The red and blue divides equally in the middle to denote equilibrium.
Under the Business Turnaround Plan, numerous routes had been axed and frequencies reduced. As of September, 2007, Malaysia Airlines flies to 88 destinations. In cooperation with code-share partner airlines, the airline serves more than one hundred destinations worldwide. It was the first airline in Southeast Asia to fly to South Africa, following the demise of apartheid, and the only airline in southeast Asia that serves South America via its services to Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2006, it suspended its routes to Manchester, Vienna, Fukuoka, Chengdu, Nagoya, Xi'an, Cairo, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Zurich under its Business Turnaround Plan. Beginning in 2008, the airline operates new destinations, with Macau and Yogyakarta being the latest additions to its list of destinations.
Malaysia Airlines also owns its own charter flight division. Malaysia Airlines' charter flights have flown to destinations around the world, such as Guilin, which was previously one of Malaysia Airlines' scheduled destinations, and Christmas Island. Malaysia Airlines has also been the official airline for the Manchester United Asian Tour It also has a substantial Hajj operation.
Alternatively, passengers may check in at KL Sentral City Air Terminal, through the internet or by phone. Online printing of boarding passes is available through internet check-in. Passengers on short trips may also check-in for their return flight upon departure from the city of origin.
The Golden Lounge is the airport lounge for Malaysia Airlines First Class, Golden Club Class passengers and Enrich Platinum and Enrich Gold members. The clubs all have open bars and food catering. There are 14 lounges throughout the world, and qualified passengers have full reciprocal privileges at lounges operated by selected partners. The lounge offers various services such as business centers, food catering, slumber rooms and child-care centers.
Lounges are available in the locations listed below:
Select is the in-flight entertainment system of Malaysia Airlines. There are three types of Select: Select 3000i, Select 30001 Portable Media Player and Select Mainscreen. However, the Boeing 737-400 does not have Select Mainscreen or either version of Select 3000i, and does not offer audio video on demand.
The Malaysia Airlines passenger fleet consists of the following aircraft:
|Aircraft||In fleet||Order||Option||Engine||Registration||Seat Configuration||Routes||Notes|
|Airbus A330-200||3||0||0||Pratt & Whitney PW4168A||9M-MK*||229 (-/42/187)||International short-medium haul||Equipped with PTV|
|Airbus A330-300||11||0||0||Pratt & Whitney PW4168||9M-MK*||294 (-/44/250) |
|International short-medium haul||Portable Media Player (AVOD) |
provided to Golden Club Class passengers
|Airbus A380-800||0||6||0||Rolls Royce Trent 970||International long haul||Entry into service: 2011|
|Boeing 737-400||37||0||0||CFM56-3C1||9M-MM*, 9M-MQ*||144 (16/-/128)||Domestic/Regional short haul||Exit from service: 2014|
|Boeing 737-800||0||35||20||CFM56-7B||Domestic/Regional short haul||Entry into service: September 2010 |
Replacing: Boeing 737-400
|Boeing 747-400||11||0||0||Pratt & Whitney PW-4056||9M-MP*||359 (12/41/306)||International medium-long haul||Equipped with AVOD|
|Boeing 777-200ER||17||0||0||Rolls Royce Trent 892||9M-MR*||282 (-/35/247)||International medium-long haul||Equipped with AVOD|
|Boeing 747-400F||2||0||0||Pratt & Whitney PW4056||120,000kg|
|Airbus A300-600||1||0||0||42,000 kg||leased|
Malaysia Airlines has two frequent flyer programs: Grads for Students by Malaysia Airlines (Grads) and Enrich by Malaysia Airlines (Enrich). Grads is a frequent flyer program with benefits designed for students. Enrich by Malaysia Airlines is a frequent flyer program for frequent travelers that comprises a variety of airlines, banks, credit-card issuers, hotels and lifestyle retailers around the world.
On September 30, 1987, Malaysian Airline System introduced the Esteemed Traveller frequent flyer program. In the early 1990s, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Thai Airways International and Singapore Airlines launched their joint Asian frequent flyer program Passages. The joint program was officially dissolved in 1999, and the Enrich frequent flyer program made its debut after the split from Passages.Enhanced Enrich
Under the revised Business Transformation Plan unveiled in January, 2008, Malaysia Airlines has embarked on a plan to form a network that resembles an alliance without joining an alliance. The airline requested to join the SkyTeam alliance in 2006 , but there is still no outcome from the discussions. Malaysia Airlines signed code-share agreements with Alitalia in Italy and China Southern Airlines in China, both of which are members of SkyTeam, in 2007.
Therefore, instead of waiting to join SkyTeam, Malaysia Airlines launched Project MOSAIC together with the new Business Turnaround Plan for the period until 2012. MOSAIC stands for ‘MAS Overall Strategic Alliance Integration Concept’, to reap the maximum value from Malaysia Airlines' present hub-and-spoke network. The MOSAIC Project’s scope includes identifying high-value code-share partners and Special Pro-Rate Agreement (SPA) partners, increasing agreements with partner airlines, discontinuing non-beneficial code-share partners and optimizing flight connections.
In the second quarter of 2008, Malaysia Airlines is expected to sign another two code-share agreements with Jet Airways and Turkish Airlines, from India and Turkey respectively. This is to enable Malaysia Airlines to tap the central Europe and India markets.
|Air India||Hyderabad, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mumbai|
|Alitalia||Athens, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Geneva, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Penang, Perth, Rome, Sydney|
|All Nippon Airways||Fukuoka, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Langkawi, Narita, Nagoya, Osaka, Penang, Sapporo, Sendai|
|BMI||Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Tesside, Lahore, London, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester,|
|Cathay Pacific||Hong Kong, Penang|
|China Southern Airlines||Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai-Pudong|
|Continental Airlines||Special Pro Rate Agreement|
|Dragon Air||Kota Kinabalu, Hong Kong|
|Egyptair||Cairo, Kuala Lumpur|
|Etihad Airways||Abu Dhabi|
|Garuda Indonesia||Darwin, Denpasar, Frankfrut, Jakarta, London, Medan, Paris, Surabaya|
|Gulf Air||Bahrain, Muscat, Kuala Lumpur|
|KLM||Adelaide, Amsterdam, Auckland, Bergen, Brisbane, Brussels, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi, Melbourne, Oslo, Penang, Perth, Stavanger, Sydney, Stockholm|
|Korean Air||Incheon, Penang|
|Myanmar Airways International||Yangon|
|Philippine Airlines||Cebu, Manila|
|Royal Brunei Airlines||Brunei|
|South African Airways||Johannesburg|
|Sri Lankan Airlines||Colombo, Kuala Lumpur|
|Swiss International Airlines||Zurich|
|Thai Airways International||Bangkok, Phuket|
|Transaero Airlines||Moscow, Kuala Lumpur|
|Virgin Blue||Balina Byron, Broome, Cairns, Canberra, Coffs Harbour, Darwin, Frasers Coast, Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Hobart, Mackay, Newcastle, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Townsville|
There have been two accidents involving passenger fatalities on Malaysia Airlines, with a total of 134 fatalities:
Other, non-fatal incidents