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Firefly, Malaysia’s first community airline, marked its inaugural arrival at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang today.
The honourable Minister of Transport, Yang Berhormat Datuk Sri Chan Kong Choy, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), Berjaya Air and the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia joined Eddy Leong, Managing Director of FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd (Firefly), at Terminal 3 Subang Airport to witness arrival of the inaugural flight from Penang International Airport to Subang Airport. The Minister, together with Eddy and other honoured guests, welcomed and greeted passengers on board flight FY 3401 with garlands and gift bags, courtesy of Firefly.
“Our focus has always been to provide safe, convenient and cost effective travel options to the public. We are pleased that we can now offer our services to a wider network thus allowing more people to benefit from our services,” said Eddy at a press conference held after the inaugural arrival.
Eddy highlighted that Firefly’s Subang base provides a unique value proposition to its passengers with total travelling time to any domestic and regional destinations being cut by almost half. “The proximity of Subang Airport to the Klang Valley and its simple layout presents a new definition in terms of travel affordability, not only just in terms of cost, but also time and efforts,” adds Eddy.
He further elaborated that Firefly is greatly encouraged by the overwhelming support from the public over the recent announcement of its Subang-Penang flight. “This reaffirms our belief that as Malaysia’s first community airline, we are indeed catering to the needs of the community,” said Eddy.
Firefly is currently the only airline that flies from Penang to Kuantan, Kota Bharu, Terengganu, Langkawi and to Koh Samui and Phuket in Thailand. With Penang as a base, Firefly is providing air service to the northern states of Peninsula Malaysia as well as to southern Thailand. With this development to fly to Subang, it is able to connect passengers to the central region of Peninsula Malaysia.
Eddy also confirmed that Firefly has obtained approval from the Government to serve 6 domestic and 9 regional routes out of Penang International Airport, 12 domestic and 13 regional routes out of Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang as well as 7 domestic and 14 regional destinations out of Senai International Airport, Johor Bahru. For the East Malaysia network, Firefly will partner its newly formed sister airline, MASWings, to cover a network of 6 domestic and 5 regional destinations out of Kota Kinabalu.
“Operating from Subang, Penang, Johor Baru and Kota Kinabalu will complete Firefly’s objective of being Malaysia’s first community airline providing better connectivity, capacity and frequency for its expanded network,” added Eddy.
To support the network expansion, Firefly has ordered 20 ATR72-500 aircraft with Avions de Transport Regional (”ATR), an equal partnership between Alenia Aeronautica (Finmeccanica Group) and EADS (Airbus).
These 72-seat aircraft will be equipped with the “Elegance” cabin, Light Emitting Diode (LED) as well as the newest technological innovations in passenger comfort, communications and navigation tools. The advanced six-blade propellers of the aircraft produces remarkably low noise levels, providing jet-like comfort with exceptional environment friendly features of low fuel burn and gaseous emissions. All ATR aircraft are compliant with noise regulations and have a large margin with regard to Chapter IV (ICAO) noise regulations effective 1st January 2006.
Deliveries of the 20 ATR72-500 will commence from Quarter 3 2008 to 2011 and will replace Firefly’s current fleet of 2 Fokker F50 aircraft.
Present also at the event was Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Seri Bashir Ahmad bin Abdul Majid, MD/CEO of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and Dato’ Azlan Meah, Executive Director of Berjaya Corporation Berhad. Eddy, in his address expressed that he is honoured to have their support as it symbolised the partnership and commitment by all three parties to revive the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.
Datuk Sri Chan Kong Choy in his statement congratulated the young airline in their latest endeavour and is pleased with the expansion plans. He went on to highlight that Firefly will support the anticipated increased travel needs arising from the full implementation of the 9th Malaysia Plan’s Northern Corridor Economic Region (”NCER”), Iskandar Development Region (”IDR”), the East Coast Economic Region (”ECER”), the Sabah Corridor and Sarawak Corridor Economic development regions. “Firefly’s expanded network will also serve 100 million potential customers based in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMTGT) and another estimated 50 million in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP- EAGA),” he adds.
The Minister also reiterated that the Government’s approval for Firefly to use Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport as a hub is in line with its standing policy of restricting scheduled passenger operations in the airport to turboprop aircraft only.
During the event, Firefly’s cabin crew were also present to show off their new uniforms. Sporting white collared shirts with upturned sleeves, the feminine yet professional blouse is paired with a midi-length fitted skirt splashed in orange, Firefly’s corporate colour. The new uniform embodies the four qualities that Firefly represents: Agile, Brilliant, Charming and Fun.
To commemorate the launch of this new route, Firefly is offering a one-way introductory air fare starting from RM 9.99* on a limited basis.
Bookings and enquiries be made via Firefly’s website at www.fireflyz.com.my, Firefly Call Centre at 603-7845 4543 (opens daily 8.00 am – 9.00 pm) or at its Penang Sales office in KOMTAR, Penang. For those in the Klang Valley, tickets can be purchased at Firefly’s Sales Counter at Terminal 3, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang, located next to the check-in counter (opens daily 6.30 am to 9.30 pm).
Group bookings can be done by e-mail through firstname.lastname@example.org and government agencies can book and make payments via Government of Malaysia (GOM) travel warrants.
* Terms and conditions apply.