- CAPA Analysis
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- IATA Code
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- Corporate Address
- FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd,
3rd Floor, Admin Building 1,
Complex A, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport,
- Main hub
- Kuala Lumpur International Airport
- Business model
- Full Service Carrier
- Domestic | International
- Airline Group
- Part of Malaysia Airlines Berhad
- Codeshare Partners
- Malaysia Airlines
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, Firefly is a full-service Malaysian regional airline. From its bases at Subang and Penang airports, the carrier operates scheduled services to destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. The carrier is part of the transportation services division of Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd.
Location of Firefly main hub (Kuala Lumpur International Airport)
24 total articles
Overcapacity at Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport has forced the Malaysia Airlines Group to restructure its regional subsidiary Firefly. The airline has cut its fleet and implemented a new reduced schedule in hopes of improving yields and load factors.
Closer integration with Malaysia Airlines is being pursued, resulting in codeshares, frequent flier tie-ups and potentially a rebranding. Firefly remains an important component of the Malaysia Airlines Group, which also has restructured over the last two years, but a smaller operation is required to restore profitability in an extremely challenging marketplace.
The Subang market is relatively limited in size with only six sizeable domestic routes from Subang, all of which are now suffering from overcapacity due to aggressive and rapid expansion from Lion Group's Malaysian affiliate Malindo Air. The irrational dogfight that has emerged between Malindo and Firefly at Subang is a potential precursor of a bigger looming battle at much larger Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) between Malindo and the Malaysia Airlines Group.
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.
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%.
Malaysia domestic aviation 2016: AirAsia impacted as Rayani enters, Malaysia Airlines resumes growth
Competition in Malaysia’s domestic market will intensify in 2016 as Malaysia Airlines resumes growth and start-up Rayani Air expands. The Malaysian domestic market should experience significantly faster growth than 2015 but yields will be under pressure, impacting profitability.
Malaysia’s domestic market grew by only 2% in 2015, marking the slowest rate of growth since 2006. The market has more than doubled in size since 2003, driven by expansion from AirAsia.
Malaysia Airlines domestic traffic has dropped significantly over the last six months and total domestic capacity in Malaysia is currently below year ago levels. But Malaysia Airlines expects to resume growth after opening seven new bases in secondary cities and introducing a new domestic schedule in Apr-2016. Meanwhile Rayani will begin competing on already crowded domestic trunk routes, joining AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air.
There is perhaps no greater indicator of the nuances in aviation than dual brand strategies. The United-Ted and Delta-Song approaches are mostly forgotten while Qantas-Jetstar trumpet alignment and newcomers like Lufthansa-Eurowings have to insist their plan will work.
What unites the attempts, successes and failures is a belief that dual brand strategies can be a silver bullet, not only gaining back lost passengers but securing new ones. Inevitably there is a lot more to it than that.
A successful dual brand airline strategy needs proper management, but this alone does not guarantee success. External forces can bring a swift end. Labour relations are often a critical factor for success or failure, but also whether a dual brand strategy is needed in the first place.
Malaysia Airlines' restructuring enters new phase with fleet & possible regional capacity reductions
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has begun a new phase of its long restructuring process, as it starts to reject aircraft leases. MAS transitioned to a new company on 1-Sep-2015, but the restructuring in many respects is far from complete, and will take another year to implement.
MAS still has the flexibility to reject aircraft leases, giving it a benefit similar to US airlines that are restructuring through bankruptcy protection. While MAS cut capacity and head count prior to the transition to the new company, the flag carrier has only begun the process of reviewing its fleet.
A large portion of the fleet is expected to be returned over the next several months. More capacity cuts are possible, particularly in the domestic and short haul sectors, as MAS has already cut back its network outside Asia to a minimum level.