Firefly came a long way from just an idea on a piece of paper. As part of Malaysia Airline’s Business Turnaround Plan, Firefly aims to be the nation’s choice of the future; point to point convenient travel with a business model that works for the people. Since its inaugural flight from its base in Penang on 3 April last year, the aptly named community airline has seen a steady growth much like a tree. To top that off, it’s going for green. With an environmentally friendly aircraft replacing its current fleet come July 2008, Firefly is soaring high into the future.
A good year to mark the airline’s existence calls for a celebration. The folks of Firefly gave a good nod for an evening with the media, not forgetting industry guests and officials from Ministry of Transport, Tourism Malaysia, Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia, MAS, Malaysia Airports, and Berjaya Air. A rare occasion it is, to see Dato’ Sri Idris Jala joining in on the light and informal affair. And that’s what Firefly never fails to portray; fun and charm. The airline played host with an offer that none of the guests can resist; good food and great games. Many walked home with Firefly tickets and merchandise. Many more walked away with a good laugh at the selection of games for the day.
The birthday ‘party’ took place on Wednesday 23 April, at the Terminal 3 of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, home to Firefly’s central hub in the peninsular. After a long hiatus from the public eye, the Terminal is seeing a burst of life again as now droves of Firefly passengers commute their way through in and out of the hassle free airport.“Subang truly is Firefly’s home, next to Penang. It’s no secret that we’ve been waiting for it to happen all these while. We wanted to serve the communities of Malaysia. Now that we can, the journey has only just begun,” declared Firefly Managing Director, Eddy Leong.
Of course the occasion didn’t do away without a little warming up and getting to know session. Leong picked a good time to give an in-depth introduction of the airline and how it was from Day 1, through his eyes. Without dwelling into it too much, Leong went into MAS’s Business Transformation Plan 2 and noted firmly where Firefly stands in the ever growing supply and demand of air travel.
“We have a good strong positioning here, and we will continue to do what we do best, and that is to serve the communities here, in Subang, in Penang and in Malaysia,” quotes Leong during his enlightening presentation.
Traveling aside, more destinations will be the focus in the near future. Already, Firefly has secured rights to fly to Medan, Pekan Baru and Padang in Indonesia, and Krabi and Hatyai in Thailand. It will be only a matter of time before we see the blazing orange wings high in the skies serving multiple frequencies across the entire Asian region, and all in brand new ATR 72-500s.
Italian and French aeronautical engineering resonates in this modern aircraft. Meant for flying low and shorter distances, the ATR is nothing but made for the airline. It’s small, it’s intimate and best of all, it’s not a jet. Increasing global awareness on carbon emissions and its effects on the environment is giving jet aircrafts certain setbacks. Firefly comes into the picture at quite the right time with its turbo propeller aircraft. Higher fuel efficiency, low vibration levels and lower noise emission, the aircraft is proven to be environmentally friendly and economical with jet like comfort.
Eddy Leong fights for that cause. “Our belief is to minimize environmental impacts as we work towards a sustainable future for the aviation industry. It can be done, and this is how we do it.”