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Firefly plans hourly shuttle flight from April next year

By B.K. SIDHU

Friday May 29, 2009

SUBANG: FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd plans to provide a shuttle flight service every other hour to destinations such as Penang and Singapore from next Apri l when it will have 10 aircraft in operation, s aid managing director Eddy Leong.

"Very soon you will find that we will have every-other-hour departure shuttle flights from Subang to Pen ang, Subang to Singapore and Subang to Kota Baru," he said.

He added that the eventual frequency could be up to eight flights a day for each destination.

The budget carrier, a unit of Malaysia Airlines, will take in another aircraft ne xt month for a total of seven aircraft this year.

"Due to the current economic condition, we have decided to delay three aircraft to next year," Leong said, adding that initially it was supposed to have 10 aircraft this year.

"I think we have made the right decision, looking at the gross domestic product numbers that were released on Wednesday," he said at a briefing on Firefly's latest international routes to Singapore.

"But after taking in more aircraft, we will increase flight frequen cies, thus adding more convenience for passengers."

Firefly's Singapore service will debut on July 1 with its first flight taking off from SkyPark Subang Terminal at 7:50am, and arriving at the Changi Budget Terminal in Singapore at 9:05am.

Leong said the four daily flights on the Subang-Singapore route was very much targeted at the business community.

This will be followed by Firefly's other new Singapore routes, which will begin in stages in July, from Ipoh-Singapore (four times weekly), Kuala Terengganu-Singapore (three times weekly), Kuantan-Singapore (four times weekly) and Malacca-Singapore (three times weekly).

"With the number of aircraft we have now, we estimate that Firefly can fly in 150,000 passengers from Singapore in a year," Leong said.

Firefly expects the load factor to be more than 70% for its new routes to Singapore. However, the budget airline did not make a pro jection on sales.

Firefly had obtained approvals to have three more routes to Singapore-Kota Baru-Singapore, Kerteh-Singapore and Alor Star-Singapore - with the flights expected to commence by year-end, Leong said.


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