The End of Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) and The Birth of Malaysian Airline System (MAS), A New Dawn of Malaysia’s Self Controlled National Airline


  • Abdul Mutalib Saifuddin Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya, MALAYSIA
  • Sivachandralingam Sundara Raja Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya, MALAYSIA



Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, Malayan Airways, Malaysian Airways, Aviation History


Malaysia and Singapore cooperated for 25 years to develop Malayan Airways, the major airline of both countries. Starting out as a private commercial entity in 1947, it evolved into a semi-governmental entity when the Federation of Malaya and the British colony of Singapore stepped in to become major shareholders in 1957.[i]The airline effectively became known as the national airline of the two states/colonies as an outcome of the move. Its name and ownership changed several times, with the governments of Malaysia and Singapore acquiring major shareholdings, deeming effective control over the airline. In 1963, it was known as Malaysian Airways, and in 1966, it was renamed Malaysia-Singapore Airlines. The company's financial condition improved over time. Divergent interests, however, began to emerge, causing the major shareholders to clash. Growing frictions between the Malaysian and Singaporean governments prompted the company rethink its business strategies. Following that, it was unanimously agreed that MSA be dissolved and that both countries would have their own successor airlines – Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA). In this context, the article will trace in what ways the break-up of Malaysia-Singapore Airlines moulded the new airline’s strategy, challenges, and focus in its early years of formation to emerge as a prominent airline in the region.

Received: 16 June 2022

Reviewed:  24 Ogos 2022

Accepted: 15 Januari 2023


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