15 January 2011
Sepang: Firefly, Your Community Airline, celebrates its inaugural flight from the Main Terminal Building, KL International Airport to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching today after receiving a warm send-off from a contingent of airport officials led by Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.
Both FY502 and FY602 bound for Kota Kinabalu and Kuching respectively are the very first official Firefly flights out of KLIA, marking a bold new chapter in the short but successful history of the company. However, the official celebrations to introduce the Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu route, however, will be held a week later on the 24 January 2011.
Flight FY602 took off for Kuching as scheduled at 7.20am with almost a full load that included members of digital and print media, guests and celebrities. FY602 arrived as scheduled at 9.05am to a rousing welcome and was bestowed the privilege of being the first commercial flight arriving at Kuching International Airport to receive the traditional aviation industry welcome, a water spraying guard-of-honour, upon touchdown.
A historic moment - In the aerobridge, right before entrance to the cabin of Firefly’s inaugural flight of Boeing 737-800 to East Malaysia. A momento of customised framed Firefly stamps was presented to Y. Bhg. Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, MAB’s Managing Director. From left, Firefly Ground Operations Manager (Lim Kee Seong), Datuk Azmi Murad, Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAB) Senior General Manager of Operations, Angelina Corrina Fernandez, Firefly’s Head of Marketing & Communications, Tan Sri Bashir, Director General of DCA, Dato Azharuddin Abdul Rahman and spouse, Captain Jalil of Firefly and VIP.
To celebrate the inaugural Boeing 737-800 flights, Firefly has printed special edition postcards and stamps to be handed out to passengers on-board, as mementoes of Firefly’s first commercial flights into Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
Firefly currently offers two daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Kuching departing Kuala Lumpur at 7.20am and 8.45pm and from Kuching at 9.35am and 11pm respectively. Furthermore, from 24 January 2011, the frequency will increase with two additional flights departing Kuala Lumpur at 11.45am and 4.20pm daily. Likewise the two additional flights from Kuching will depart at 2pm and 6.35pm daily.
Firefly also offers two daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. From Kuala Lumpur, departures are at 6.55am and 7.15 pm while flights from Kota Kinabalu depart at 10am and 10.20pm. An additional daily flight will be added on the 24 January 2011 that departs Kuala Lumpur at 1.05pm and Kota Kinabalu at 4.10pm. All Firefly flights to Kota Kinabalu will arrive and depart at Terminal 1 of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam in the new Jets Boeing 737-800 cabin with Firefly crew upon arrival of Kuching International Airport
According to Ms Angelina Corrina Fernandez, Firefly’s Head of Marketing & Communications, Firefly is ready and eager to give the mass market a taste of the Firefly hospitality that their ATR-72 passengers are already familiar with. “Since Firefly began operations more than three years ago, business and leisure travellers alike have enjoyed flying onboard our ATR aircraft across the region. Now, with the introduction of the new fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which is part of the company’s growth programme, we’re able to fly higher and further than the existing fleet thus allowing us to expand our network to East Malaysia.”
“Firefly’s customers will be able to enjoy the same level of booking convenience, comfort and superior service at low fares on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft. These low fares signify our commitment to better serve the community and provide discerning travellers with greater choice and incredible value for money.”
Angelina presenting a momento of the new Boeing Jets 737-800 to Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.
Fernandez explains how Firefly is able to offer such low fares: “By having the lowest operating cost compared with other airlines we are able to offer such incredible value. This is achieved by leveraging on our parent company Malaysia Airlines’ experience, infrastructure and core services such as ground operations and MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) while the financial strengths and credit facilities enjoyed by MAS also brings benefits to Firefly. All the savings in operating costs derived from these benefits are passed back directly to the customer in the form of the lowest fares.”
“Furthermore, with the code share agreement between Firefly and Malaysia Airlines, all Firefly’s customers, regardless of their location, gain access to all domestic, regional and international routes and destinations offered by both Firefly and Malaysia Airlines. ”
Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam and Angelina with Sarawak cultural dance troop that performed upon arrival of the inaugural flight at Kuching International Airport.
To ensure that Firefly’s low fares are readily available to all, Firefly has enhanced its distribution channels by establishing more conveniently-situated airport and city ticketing offices. Since November 8, when we launched the Kuala Lumpur-Kuching and Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu routes, Firefly has opened three new airport ticketing offices including the one at KLIA and two new city ticketing offices. Additionally there are plans to open another five airport ticketing offices to support its expansion plans.
We will also continue to work closely with travel agents to ensure more travellers get the opportunity to experience incredible value with Firefly. In 2010, Firefly flew 1.35 million passengers and it is projected to fly three million passengers in 2011 with the introduction of the Boeing 737-800 fleet together with an increase in the ATR fleet to 10 aircraft.
Firefly began its operations in 2007 and operates a fleet of seven ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft, which in 2011 will increase to a total of 10 aircraft. It currently flies to 19 cities and operates 24 routes within Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
Firefly recently announced the next chapter of its growth with the introduction of its jet aircraft operations with a new fleet of Boeing 737-800 which will operate from the Main Terminal Building of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) starting Jan 2011.
Firefly won the “2010 Frost & Sullivan Value Airline of the Year” award and recently the “Green Initiative of the Year 2010” award by Leaders in Aviation Award in conjunction with the Doha Aviation Summit 2010.
Firefly is found to be the first company in Malaysia and the second airline in the world to have a page on Foursquare, the location-based social network that enables travellers to discover useful travel tips near their airports or destinations. For more interesting facts and tips, visit http://foursquare.com/flyfirefly to meet up with friends, discover new places and unlock rewards as you travel. Firefly also connects with the community via Facebook, Twitter & Blog.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Tourism Malaysia, Sarawak Tourism Board, Sarawak Cultural Village, Borneo Tropical Adventure, Straits Central Travel & Tours, Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites, Wake the Baby Sdn Bhd, Delfi Marketing Sdn Bhd, Kenko Reflexology & Fish Spa, MASwings and KL Airport Service Sdn Bhd.