Firefly managing director Eddy Leong stated the carrier is negotiating for additional ATR 72-500s to be delivered gradually until 2015 to support its expansion into more secondary routes to continuously strengthen its network (Bernama/The Star Online/ANN, 16-Apr-2011). The carrier confirmed it would receive one ATR 72-500 in Oct-2011 and another in Nov-2011 bringing its fleet size to 12. The aircraft will begin service one month after delivery, upon thorough pre-service checks. The two additional aircraft will be used to strengthen Firefly’s current network footprint through increased frequency for high demand sectors such as to Langkawi, Penang, Johor Bahru and Singapore from Subang. The airline expects to receive four new aircraft by the end of the year. The carrier operates to 10 domestic and seven regional destinations at present with its fleet of ATRs, with a total of 324 weekly services.
Firefly negotiates for more ATRs
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, MASwings: new domestic strategy – flat capacity, more aggressive pricing
The Malaysia Airlines Group plans to maintain current capacity levels in the Malaysian domestic market but is aiming to recapture market share through load factor improvements. The group’s domestic market share has slipped from 45% to less than 37% since 2013 as its domestic passenger traffic has dropped by more than 10%, due to capacity cuts and load factor declines.
Malaysia’s other two domestic players, AirAsia and Lion JV Malindo Air, have steadily grown their market share since launching in 2001 and 2013 respectively. AirAsia currently has a leading 45% share of domestic capacity in Malaysia – and an even higher share of traffic given its higher average load factors – while Malindo has approximately 14% and the Malaysia Airlines Group 41%.
The Malaysia Airlines Group is introducing a new, more aggressive pricing strategy in both the domestic and international markets in an attempt to boost load factors and regain market share. Malaysia Airlines’ domestic load factor was only 65.6%% in 2015 and slipped to 64.7% in 1Q2016. Firefly’s load factor was also below 70% in 2015, while MASwing’s load factor was below 60%.
China is not the only game in town: Asia’s other aviation growth markets
China captures headlines and imaginations in terms of market growth potential, and rightly so - it will generate 100 million tourists annually by the end of this decade. But there are other markets in Southeast Asia that show high potential and remarkable promise for future growth opportunities.
The large aircraft order book hovering over the region has attracted significant attention from the global industry in recent years. Much of this is directed at short haul markets, as new LCCs expand and regional commerce develops. While the rate of growth has been slowing, the order book suggests at some point the rate of LCC growth in Southeast Asia will re-accelerate. Southeast Asian LCCs currently have over 1,100 orders, including almost 90 widebody aircraft. LCCs currently account for about 75% of orders among Southeast Asian airlines but only about 33% of the active fleet. Even when factoring in replacements the size of the LCC fleet should more than double over the next decade.
Three Southeast Asian markets recorded double-digit passenger growth in 2015 – Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia – while another three experienced high single-digit growth – the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar. Indonesia and Malaysia have struggled recently but should see faster growth rates again in the medium to long term. Indonesia, with its 200 million population, is perhaps the quiet medium term performer. Thailand and Vietnam, for now, remain the hottest markets in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is also intriguing, but much smaller.