KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 ― Low-cost carrier Firefly Airlines will resume its operations using jet airplanes beginning first quarter of 2021, the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) announced today.
According to MAG, Firefly will be adding up to 10 narrow-body jetliners to its fleet in phases, serving the domestic, Asean and Asia Pacific markets out of Penang International Airport.
“Based on available forecasts, domestic and short haul travel will be most preferred duing the current environment, 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 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,” said MAG group chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail.
The setup of Firefly’s Penang hub jet operations requires minimal investment by MAG in 2021, with an expected increase in production, measured in Average Seat per Kilometre by 36 per cent over the next five years.
Izham added that with this plan, Firefly will be complementing its sister company, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), in serving the leisure market while diversifying its base connecting secondary cities in Malaysia to East Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
At the same time, he said it will leverage on available resources and talents from within MAG, with the possibility of deploying the Boeing 737-800 aircraft from MAB.
“This gives MAB room to focus on its network serving the premium market,” he said.
In addition, Firefly chief executive officer Philip See said airlines must embrace changes and market needs that have emerged since the existence of Covid-19 virus.
“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 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.
According to MAB, passengers will continue to enjoy 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.