KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 ― The Singaporean government insisted today that short-haul carrier Firefly was previously pleased to make the move to Seletar Airport, amid the airline bleeding money from suspending its operation to the republic.
Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan had also dismissed the possibility that Firefly be allowed to resume its operations in Changi Airport instead.
“Firefly knew that we are shifting them to Seletar and they have planned on that basis,” Khaw told a press conference with the Singaporean media.
“They have inspected, and they were very pleased with Seletar Airport. And as a result, months ago we applied for slots in Seletar and welcomed them there.”
Khaw also explained that Firefly’s previous slots in Changi have since been redistributed to other airlines.
The recording of the press conference was made available to Malay Mail.
New Straits Times reported on Monday that Firefly outgoing chief executive officer Ignatius Ong said it has incurred “significant” loss following its recent flights suspension to Singapore which began on December 1 as the island is their second biggest route.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia has yet to approve Firefly’s move to Seletar, as Seletar’s new Instrument Landing System that would put restrict development and shipping operations even on Malaysia’s own territory, contrary to the Singapore government’s argument otherwise.
Firefly, a unit of Malaysia Airlines, is currently operating 20 daily turboprop flights ― to and from Subang, Ipoh and Kuantan ― at Changi Airport.
Singapore has recently shifted turboprop planes to Seletar amid its plan to expand operations there.