Firefly launches two new hubs and expands network
22 February 2011
Petaling Jaya: FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, announced today the second phase of its jets expansion programme with the launch of its Southern hub in Senai, Johor and Eastern hub in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. This exciting phase will be accompanied with the introduction of new sectors and additional frequencies on the Sabah and Sarawak routes, which started operating in January 2011.
During a press conference held in Petaling Jaya today, its Managing Director Dato’ Eddy Leong said, “We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Southern hub based in the Senai International Airport where we will be operating with a fleet of Boeing 737-400 aircraft. Concurrently, we have declared Kota Kinabalu International Airport as our Eastern hub, which will enable us to further increase the frequencies for this sector. This brings our total hub infrastructure to five with our existing hubs in the Central region at Subang and KL International Airport plus Penang in the Northern region.”
Leong added, “Our customers will benefit from these hub locations as a result of having our aircraft stationed there. This will allow us to offer a wider selection of flight times, which will provide better connectivity to international flights in other airports and also give business travellers the benefit of a full workday upon arrival at their intended destination.”
Firefly started its operations from its Northern hub in Penang on 2 April 2007. It now has two aircraft stationed in Penang and had recently strengthened its network footprint through increased frequency for high demand sectors and reinstatement of some its earlier routes to destinations such as Kuantan, Kota Bahru and Terengganu. It now serves:
- Domestic destinations – 24 flights per week
- Regional destinations – 25 flights per week
The second hub in Subang, which became operational on 18 October 2007, represents one of Firefly’s unique selling points being a city airport and currently operates with 10 ATR aircraft serving 19 destinations, with 8 aircraft being stationed at this hub. Subang represents the heart of Firefly’s ATR network and activities, and will continue to expand.
KL International Airport
Kuala Lumpur International Airport became the third network hub for Firefly on the 15 January 2011 with the launch of its Boeing 737-800 jet aircraft fleet, offering flights to East Malaysia beginning with Kuching, Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. With the arrival of its third and fourth Boeing 737-800 aircraft in the second quarter this year and the planned acceptance of seven Boeing 737-800 aircraft for 2011, Firefly will also expand its East Malaysia sectors by increasing its Kuching and Kota Kinabalu frequencies as well as introducing new routes.
KUL - KUCHING
- Current frequency - 4 flights a day
- Effective 1 June 2011 - 7 flights a day
KUL – KOTA KINABALU
- Current frequency – 3 flights a day
Having just received approvals we are now expanding the routes from our KLIA hub with the introduction of daily flights to Miri and Sibu, Sarawak commencing on 1 July 2011 and 1 Aug 2011 respectively. This will further improve and strengthen Firefly’s connectivity in addition to offering passengers the convenience and comfort of KLIA with its aerobridge services and award-winning facilities.
KUL – MIRI
- Effective 1 July 2011 – 2 flights daily
- Effective 1 August 2011 – 3 flights daily
- Effective 1 August 2011 – 2 flights daily
Kota Kinabalu is Firefly’s fourth and Eastern hub, currently offering three daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, will operate with three additional flights from Terminal 1 of Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
- Effective 15 May 2011 - 3 additional flights daily
(Bringing the total number to six flights daily between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu)
With the commencement of services from the fifth hub in Senai, Firefly is confident of leveraging on the numerous commercial and tourism activities generated in Johor Bahru via the Iskandar Malaysia development and will be able to positively contribute to its economic growth by increasing in-bound arrivals of business and leisure travellers alike.
“Looking at the current developments in the state, we are indeed very motivated to kick-start our operations. Some of the encouraging projects that we foresee that will spur economic growth are the Genting tie-up with Chelsea Property group to develop an international class, premium designer factory outlet centre meant to attract four million visitors annually, and a number of up-coming projects that will focus on higher learning institutions and medical tourism,” Leong said.
Today we offer for sale flights between Johor Bahru and Kuching, and between Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu at a promotional all-in one-way low fare of RM9; the flights will commence operations on 19 May and 16 Jun 2011, respectively. Both sectors will have a frequency of 14 flights weekly.
In addition to the East Malaysian sectors, Firefly is in the midst of applying for approvals to operate a number of Indonesian routes including those to Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung, which are for entry into service from its Johor hub in the third quarter of 2011. Firefly also intends to fly from Johor Bahru to Bangkok in the fourth quarter of this year.