KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Key dates in the history of Malaysia Airlines from its start as a one route airline until its almost unfathomable double passenger jet disasters in 2014.
1937 — Malayan Airways Ltd., the forerunner of Malaysia Airlines, is formed to provide flights between Penang in Malaya and Singapore, both part of the British empire at the time.
1963 — A now independent Malaysia absorbs neighbouring British colonies and the national carrier becomes Malaysian Airlines Ltd.
1972 — The carrier is renamed Malaysian Airline System and later branded as Malaysia Airlines.
2012 — Wins “World’s Best Crew” award from airline rating firm Skytrax, the 7th time it has claimed that industry accolade since 2001.
2013 — Losing ground to budget airline rivals, losses at Malaysia Airlines balloon to 1.17 billion ringgit ($363 million), nearly three times larger than its 433 million ringgit loss in 2012.
March 8, 2014 — Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 severs contact with air traffic control en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and veers far of course with 239 people on board; searchers have still not located the plane which is believed to have crashed into the southern Atlantic Ocean.
March 10 — Shares of Malaysia Airlines plunge 20 per cent when stock market trading opens on the Monday after Flight 370 vanished.
May 29 — The Malaysia Airlines union calls for the resignation of CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, saying new management is needed to revive the beleaguered flag carrier.
June 25 — CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya says the airline’s business is seeing a “significant recovery” from the Flight 370 tragedy but must undergo radical changes to survive.
July 17 — Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is blasted out of the sky over an area of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian rebels, killing all 298 people on board.
July 18 — Malaysia Airlines shares drop 14 per cent. Analysts estimate the airline is losing $1.6 million a day and won’t survive a year without a bailout.
Early Aug — Malaysia Airlines says passengers dropped 11 per cent in July compared with a year earlier.
Aug 29 — Malaysia’s state investment fund, which owns 69 per cent of Malaysia Airlines, says 30 per cent of the airline’s 20,000 staff will be cut as part of a $1.9 billion overhaul to return the airline to profit by 2017.