Malaysia Airlines subsidiary Firefly reduces ATR fleet as competition with Malindo intensifies

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Malaysia Airlines regional subsidiary Firefly has cut its fleet by six aircraft and slashed domestic capacity at its Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport base by approximately 40% as part of a turnaround attempt. Firefly now operates only 12 ATR 72 turboprops, down from 18 aircraft a few months ago.

Firefly has been significantly impacted by extremely aggressive expansion at Lion Group’s Malaysian JV, Malindo Air. Malindo has quickly expanded its Subang operation since it was launched in 2013 and now has 16 ATR 72s, all of which are based at Subang.

Malindo has injected new competition across all of Firefly’s previously exclusive domestic routes from Subang. While Malindo has been able to stimulate some demand, yields have plummeted and load factors are very low.

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