Firefly to operate jet from Penang Airport, beginning Q1 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Aviation Group’s (MAG) subsidiary Firefly Airlines is set to launch its jet operations in the first-quarter (Q1) of 2021.

The premium short-haul airline, which operates turboprop said it will add up to 10 narrow body jets to its fleet in phases, serving the domestic, Asean and Asia Pacific markets out of Penang International Airport.

MAG said Firefly’s Penang hub jet operations would require minimal investment in 2021, with an expected increase in production, measured in average seat per kilometre (ASK) by 36 per cent over the next five years.

MAG group chief executive officer (CEO) Captain Izham Ismail said currently domestic and short-haul travel would be the most preferred based on available forecasts.

“Hence, it makes commercial sense for Firefly to supply this demand but from the northern region.

“This is in line with the group’s enhanced Long-Term Business Plan (LTBP 2.0) which has been realigned to suit the current and future environment post Covid-19, with a focus on strengthening the revenue streams of each subsidiary,” he said in a statement today.

The move would complement Firefly’s sister company, Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), in serving the leisure market while diversifying its base connecting secondary cities in Malaysia to East Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

MAG said it will also leverage on available resources and talents within the group, with the possibility of deploying the Boeing 737-800 aircraft from MAB.

This in turn provides MAB room to focus on its network serving the premium market.

Firefly CEO Philip See said airlines must embrace changes and adapt to the market requirements as the world has evolved with the emergence of Covid-19.

Firefly is ready to carry that challenge, as we see strong potential in this dual hub strategy, while maintaining our turbo propeller service out of Subang Skypark, serving the mix of corporate and leisure travellers,” he said.

With the new jet operations, Firefly will offer a flexible service concept – with product unbundling to suit the leisure focused and price-sensitive customers, providing a more significant value proposition.

Passengers will continue to enjoy the privileges and services like a premium carrier including a complimentary 20kg checked baggage allowance as well as the opportunity to accrue and redeem Enrich points with an option to add other privileges such as seat selection and insurance coverage

Source: NST