Key events in the history of Malaysia Airlines

Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Managing Director Azman Mokhtar Holds News Conference On Malaysia Airlines
Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Managing Director Azman Mokhtar Holds News Conference On Malaysia Airlines

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - 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 neighboring 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 percent 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 percent. Analysts estimate the airline is losing $1.6 million a day and won't survive a year without a bailout.

Aug 25 - Malaysia Airlines says passengers dropped 11 percent in July compared with a year earlier.

Aug 29 - Malaysia's state investment fund, which is the majority shareholder of Malaysia Airlines, says 6,000 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.