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Firefly hopes to operate more domestic routes

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) subsidiary, Firefly, which received the green light from the Government to operate from Subang airport last week, hopes to ply more domestic routes.

Managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Idris Jala said was currently in talks with the Government to operate more domestic routes from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.

“Following the go-ahead from the Government, Firefly will be flying to Kerteh, Malacca and Ipoh from Subang. However, the current routes allocation for flights out of Subang is a bit too restrictive,” he said after the company AGM on Monday.

He added that Firefly had also proposed to operate out of Senai airport.

Firefly flies daily to Langkawi, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan, as well as Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand.

The low-cost carrier is currently based in Penang and operates two 50-seater Fokker Friendship aircraft.

MAS, which is in the process of taking over the Rural Air Service (RAS) operations from Fly Asian Xpress (FAX), would be using the existing 12 turbo-prop aircraft operated by FAX to service the RAS routes.

“The original intention was to take over the RAS operations on Jan 1, 2008, but due to requests from the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak as well as passengers, we will start operation from Oct 1,” Idris said, adding that RAS would be undertaken by new subsidiary MASWings Sdn Bhd.

“The details need to be sorted before MAS can take over the service and, hopefully, by October, everything can be sorted out.

“We need to make sure all the aircraft are in operational condition and the auditing process is ongoing,” Jala said.

Source: The Star, Malaysia BUSINESS on 18 Jun 2007.

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