Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) (Malay: Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad) formerly known as Malaysian Airline System Berhad (MAS; Malay: Sistem Penerbangan Malaysia); branded as Malaysia Airlines; (Malay: Penerbangan Malaysia; MYX: 3786 as Malaysian Airline System Berhad) is a major airline operating flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and from secondary hubs in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching to destinations throughout Asia, Oceania and Europe. Malaysia Airlines is the flag carrier of Malaysia and a member of the oneworld airline alliance. The company's headquarters are located at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. In August 2014, the Malaysian government's sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional—which then owned 69.37% of the airline—announced its intention to purchase remaining ownership from minority shareholders and de-list the airline from Malaysia's stock exchange, thereby renationalising the airline.
Malaysia Airlines owns two subsidiary airlines: Firefly and MASwings. Firefly operates scheduled flights from its two home bases Penang International Airport and Subang International Airport. The airline focuses on tertiary cities. MASwings focuses on inter-Borneo flights. Malaysia Airlines has a freighter fleet operated by MASkargo, which manages freighter flights and aircraft cargo-hold capacity for all Malaysia Airlines' passenger flights.
The airline began as Malayan Airways Limited and flew its first commercial flight in 1947. Malayan Airways was headquartered in Singapore. A few years after Singapore's expulsion from Malaysia, the airline's assets were divided in 1972 to form Singaporean flag carrier Singapore Airlines and Malaysian flag carrier Malaysian Airline System.
Despite numerous awards from aviation industry and recognition from the World Travel Awards as the leading airline in and to Asia (2010–11, 2013) the airline struggled to cut costs to compete with new, low-cost carriers in the region since the early 2000s. In 2013, the airline initiated a turnaround plan after large losses beginning in 2011 and cut routes to prominent, but unprofitable, long-haul destinations, such as the Americas (Los Angeles and Buenos Aires) and South Africa. Malaysia Airlines also began an internal restructuring and intended to sell units such as engineering and pilot training.
In 2014, Malaysia Airlines lost two aircraft—Flight 370 and Flight 17—less than five months apart, exacerbating the airline's financial troubles and leading to the renationalisation of the airline. Prior to 2014, MAS had one of the world's best safety records—just two fatal accidents in 68 years of operation, including the hijacking in 1977 of Flight 653 that resulted in 100 deaths.