Bakgroud of Malaysia Airlines System Berhad
Scheduled air passenger and mail services in Malaya commenced in 1937 when Wearne's Air Service (WAS) commenced operating services between Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Wearne's Air Service was started by two Australian brothers, Theodore and Charles Wearnes. The service commenced as a thrice weekly flight between Singapore and Penang The first flight, using an 8-seater de Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide took place on 28 June 1937 This inaugural flight departed Singapore from the then brand-new Kallang Airport which had just opened earlier in the same month on 12 June Later a second D.H.89A enabled the expansion to daily services as well as ...view middle of the document...
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 theDouglas 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; Malaysian Airline System (MAS)(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 that airline.
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...