The airline was founded by the government after independence on 15 September 1948, as the Union of Burma Airways (UBA). It initially operated domestic services only but added limited international services to neighboring destinations in 1950. In 1993 the airline withdrew from its international routes. After a 23-year absence, they relaunched foreign services in 2016 with service to Singapore. The name was changed to Burma Airways in December 1972, and to Myanma Airways on 1 April 1989, following the renaming of the country from Burma to Myanmar. International services of Myanma Airways have been made as a joint venture airline, Myanmar Airways International (MAI).
Myanmar Airways International (MAI) took off in August 1993, initially created as a joint venture between Myanma Airways and Singapore-based Highsonic Enterprises, with the support of Royal Brunei Airlines. It boasted a Singapore management team (many ex-Singapore Airlines staff), new Boeing aircraft, all-expatriate cockpit crews, improved training for flight attendants, and new UK Civil Aviation Authority operating standards. Eventually, the original joint venture was terminated and MAI became a wholly-owned Myanmar company. In January 2001, a new joint venture was formed in which Region Air Myanmar (HK) Ltd.
Myanmar National Airlines is the majority shareholder of Joint Venture Company MAI, set up in 1993. In 2003, it was proposed to set up a Myanmar-based airline for chartered international passenger and cargo flights, which was planned to be called Air Myanmar. What would have been a joint venture between Myanma Airways and private investors was abandoned in 2005. Myanmar National Airlines provides ground-handling services for Other airline’s charter, schedule, and nonscheduled flight.