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Firefly May Start Flying to Singapore in June

22 April 2009

By LEONG HUNG YEE

SUBANG: FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), is expected to commence its inaugural flight to Singapore in June following the approval from the Transport Ministry.

Managing director Eddy Leong said the airline would need some time to finalise details before it actually flew to Singapore.

"We will be flying six new routes to Singapore this year from Subang, Penang, Ipoh, Terengganu, Kuantan and Malacca.

"Firefly will fly 28 times a week from Subang, 14 times from Penang, four times from Ipoh, three times from Terengganu and Kuantan, and four times a week from Malacca," Leong told a media briefing to announce its latest offering, the WOW bargains.

WOW offers promotional tickets and packages to Firefly's newly-launched routes and destinations, including Phuket, Batam and Padang.

Leong said although the airline had been given approval to commence flights from Subang and Penang to Singapore from June 1, Firefly needed to get slots to fly and it was currently in talks with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

Firefly has also obtained approval to fly from Ipoh, Terengganu and Kuantan from July 1 while flights between Malacca and Singapore will start Sept 1.

To a question, Leong said Firefly had not decided on its hub in Singapore yet. He said it could be Singapore Changi Airport or the Budget Terminal but not the Seletar Airport.

Leong said the airline did not want to expand itself to outgrow the economy.

"We want to expand at our own pace. We are trying to conserve cash. We will probably announce it (new destinations) in the second half of this year," he said, when asked on Firefly's new routes.

Firefly, Malaysia's first community airline which currently has five planes, will be getting one new aircraft this month and its seventh plane in May.

Leong declined to reveal the cost of its aircraft but said the listed price for a plane was US$18.5mil for 2008 delivery.

He added that the group had to review its plans to own 10 aircrafts this year due to the current economic situation.

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