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Aviation: Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has come a long way since being founded on May 1, 1947 as Malayan Airways. T he airline’s first flight was from Singapore’s Kallang Airport to Kuala Lumpur, using a solitary Airspeed AS 65 Consul, on a three-times-a-week service. In 1967, by now a jet operator, the airline became Malaysia-Singapore Airlines and today’s airline was created in 1972 when the company was divided in to Malaysian Airlines System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines.

Today’s airline is now a world-class carrier that consistently wins acclaim for its service and reliability. Its success was built on the Boeing 747, the first going into service in 1972. This was the 747-200 and since then, the airline has operated the -300 and -400, the first of which was delivered in 1989. By 2003, SIA had more of the -400 than any other airline, with 39 passenger aircraft and 12 freighters. Like most long-haul carriers, the 747-400 has now been retired from passenger service, the final departure from Singapore in 2012 being given a commemorative flight number, SQ747 for a flight to Hong Kong. The return service used the number SQ748 and the airline’s executive vice president commercial, Mak Swee Wah, said: ‘The 747 was truly the jewel in our fleet for nearly four decades, and we would not be the airline we are today if we had not made the bold decision to purchase this iconic jetliner.’

Many of SIA’s services today are operated using the Airbus A380, and the airline accepted the first to be delivered to any airline on October 15, 2007. With a long-standing policy of operating a young fleet (of all types), on December 13, 2017 the airline took delivery of the first of five new A380s, which will replace the first five delivered ten years earlier. The Boeing 777 also features heavily in the company’s route structure and in October 2017 placed an order for 20 777-900s.