Malaysia Airlines is the national airline of Malaysia, offering air travel in the country. It is based at KL International Airport, while its secondary hub is located at Kota Kinabalu. In 1997, the air service operated the longest non-commercial, non-stop flight in the world, from Boeing Field in Seattle to Kuala Lumpur, passing Europe and Africa, breaking the Great Circle Distance without landing anywhere in the middle. It has the largest fleet size in South East Asia and is one of the four airlines in the world to have been awarded a 5-star rating by Skytrax.
The origin of Malaysia Airlines can be traced back to 1937, when Malayan Airways Limited (MAL) was incorporated on October 12. MAL was a joint initiative of the Ocean Steamship Company of Liverpool, the Straits Steamship Company of Singapore and Imperial Airways. It was formed to run an air service between Penang and Singapore. On April 2, 1947, the airline conducted its first commercial flight, from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. Within three months, it had started international services to Jakarta, Medan, Palembang and Saigon.
In 1957, after the independence of Malaya, MAL became a state-run stock corporation and expanded rapidly. In 1959, MAL entered jet age, with the acquisition of the Vickers Viscount aircraft. In 1963, with the formation of Malaysia, the airline changed its name to Malaysian Airlines Limited (MAL) and became the national carrier of the country. Malaysia Airlines has diversified into many related industries and sectors, including aircraft ground handling, aircraft leasing, aviation engineering, air catering, and tour operator operations. It has over 20 subsidiaries, with 13 of them fully owned by the airline
Malaysia Airlines cover 87 destinations, spanning cross six continents, while operating from its primary hub at Kuala Lumpur. It also operates transatlantic flights from Kuala Lumpur to Newark Liberty International Airport, via Stockholm Arlanda Airport, and transpacific flights from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles International Airport, via Taipei. On the kangaroo Route (between Australia and U.K), the airline links main European gateways to major Australian and New Zealand gateways via Kuala Lumpur International Airport by operating connecting flights. The airline is now looking forward to expand its network in growing markets like India and China and other South East Asian countries.
It has a fleet of about 79 aircrafts including 37 Boeing 737-400, 17 Boeing 777-200ER, 13 Boeing 747-400, 11 Airbus A330-300 and 3 Airbus A330-200. Its cargo fleet consists of 4 Boeing 747-200F, 2 Boeing 747-400F and an Airbus A300-600RF.
Frequent Flier Program
Malaysia airlines run two frequent flier programs. One of them, known as the Grads Program, is especially designed for students. The other program, meant of general passengers, is known as Enrich. The membership of Enrich extends to passengers from 240 countries, with the largest in Malaysia (accounting for about 60% of the total membership). In 2006, the airline announced its Enhanced Enrich program. It provides for Enrich Silver Memberships, with a view to target Economy class passengers. Enrich Blue, Enrich Gold and Enrich Platinum are the other memberships provided by the program. The benefits of the program include priority check-ins, extra baggage allowance and other facilities. Benefits are also available on the miles collected by the passengers.
The airline has been cleared by IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) for the safety practices observed during operations. It has also been awarded a 5- star status by SkyTrax, an honor which rests with only three other airlines in the world. Malaysia Airlines also appears in the list of Skytrax's Quality Approved Airlines. It was ranked second in Aviation Week’s Top Performing Companies, which measures the financial viability of an airline, among 88 contenders.