Posted on: 28 July 2011 by Mark Howells
Firefly has entered a collaboration with Melaka Air to provide air services out of Melaka International Airport from 11 November, with Firefly stationing one ATR 72-500 in Melaka.
The move will enable new flights out of Melaka to Batam, Pekanbaru and Medan in Indonesia and from Melaka to Penang and Kota Bahru in Malaysia.
The agreement was signed on behalf of Firefly by its managing director, Eddy Leong and Melaka Air CEO, Sharabudin Kudus, witnessed by Melaka chief minister, Datuk Seri Haji Mohd Ali bin Mohd Rustam.
“We had intended to start our operations in Melaka earlier but we had to wait for the expansion of our aircraft fleet. Now we are in a position to support the Melaka Chief Minister’s vision of expanding tourism accessibility into the state,” explained Leong. “In November, we will take delivery of our 11th and 12th ATR aircraft, of which one aircraft has been specifically designated to be stationed in Melaka. We will also set up a full operation support services in Melaka which will include aircraft maintenance, ground-handling and fuel services. Soon, there will also be an airport ticketing office in Melaka.
“If this collaboration with Melaka Air proves to be successful, we have the capability to also offer in the future our Boeing jet aircraft which has a larger seat capacity of 189,” Leong added.
Leong added that Firefly was targeting different market segments on different routes. “We are targeting the Health Tourism and Business Events segments especially from Pekanbaru, Medan and Batam in Indonesia to visit Melaka,” he elaborated. “Our thrice weekly flights from Melaka to Penang will connect two UNESCO World Heritage Cities. The convenience of affordable air travel is certain to attract more domestic and foreign tourists to visit both destinations. With the Melaka–Kota Bharu route, we hope to attract traffic from the business, leisure and visit friends and relatives segment.”