Firefly to launch jet operations in 1Q21
Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) today announced the commencement of jet operations for its subsidiary Firefly Airlines (Firefly) beginning first quarter of 2021. Firefly will be adding up to 10 narrow body jets to its fleet in phases, serving the domestic, ASEAN and Asia Pacific markets out of Penang International Airport.
Group Chief Executive Officer of MAG Captain Izham Ismail said, “Based on available forecasts, domestic and short haul travel will be most preferred in the current environment, hence it makes commercial sense for Firefly to supply this demand but from the northern region. This is in line with the Group’s enhanced Long-Term Business Plan (LTBP 2.0) which has been realigned to suit the current and future environment post COVID-19, with a focus on strengthening the revenue streams of each subsidiary.”
With this plan, Firefly will be complementing sister company, Malaysia Airlines (MAB), in serving the leisure market while diversifying its base connecting secondary cities in Malaysia to East Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. It will leverage on available resources and talents from within MAG, with the possibility of deploying the Boeing 737-800 aircraft from MAB. This gives MAB room to focus on its network serving the premium market.
Chief Executive Officer of Firefly Philip See said, “The world has evolved so much since COVID-19, and as airlines we must embrace those changes and adapt to the market needs and wants. Firefly is ready to carry that challenge, as we see strong potential in this dual hub strategy, while maintaining our turbo propeller service out of Subang Skypark, serving the mix of corporate and leisure travellers.”
With the new jet operations, Firefly will offer a flexible service concept – with product unbundling to suit the leisure focused and price-sensitive customers, providing a more significant value proposition. Passengers will continue to enjoy the privileges and services like a premium carrier including a complimentary 20kg checked baggage allowance as well as the opportunity to accrue and redeem Enrich points with an option to add other privileges such as seat selection and insurance coverage.
The setup of Firefly’s Penang hub jet operations requires minimal investment by MAG in 2021, with an expected increase in production, measured in Average Seat per Kilometre (ASK) by 36% over the next five years.