Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) came into being in 1966 as a result of a joint ownership of the airline by the governments of Malaysia and Singapore. The airline ceased operations only 6 years later in 1972 however, when both governments aspired to set up their own national airlines. Hence from that year, Malaysia Airline System (now called Malaysia Airlines) and Singapore Airlines were formed.
The airline traced its roots to the formation of Malayan Airways Limited in 1946. Mounting its first flight on 1 May 1947, the Singapore-based carrier flew on domestic routes between Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang and Singapore on a Airspeed Consul twin engined airplane. In April 1948, the airline has direct international routes from Singapore to Saigon in Vietnam, Batavia (now Jakarta), Medan and Palembang in Indonesia, and to Bangkok in Thailand via Penang. It also has a route connecting Penang with Medan.
The airline grew rapidly in the next few years, boosted by rising demand for air travel in the post-war period whereby flying is no longer a privilege for the very rich. By 12 April 1960, the airline was operating Douglas DC-3s, Super Constellations and Viscounts on new routes including from Singapore to Hong Kong, and from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok via Penang. Flights were also mounted from Singapore to cities in the Borneo Territories including Brunei, Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu), Kuching, Sandakan and Sibu.
The airline saw it's name changed twice due to political shifts. In 1963, the creation of the Federation of Malaysia prompted a change of name to "Malaysian Airways". Singapore's departure from the federation in 1965 led to another name change in 1966 to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines when the two seperate governments took joint ownership of the airline.
The different needs of the two shareholders, however, led to the breakup of the airline just 6 years later. The Singapore government preferred to develop the airline's international routes, while the Malaysian government preferred to develop the domestic network first before going regional and eventually, long-haul. MSA ceased operations in 1972, with its assets split between two new airlines: Malaysian Airline System (now Malaysia Airlines), and Singapore Airlines.
With Singapore Airlines determined to develop its international routes, it took the entire fleet of seven Boeing 707s and five Boeing 737s which would allow it continue servicing the regional and long-haul international routes. Since most of MSA's international routes were mounted out of Singapore, the vast majority of international routes were in the hands of Singapore Airlines. In addition, the MSA's headquaters, which was located in Singapore, became the headquaters of Singapore Airlines.
Malaysian Airline System, on the other hand, took all domestic routes within Malaysia and international routes out of the country, as well as the remaining fleet of Fokker F27. It began flights on 1 October 1972.
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