Posted on: 22 February 2011 by Ross McSweeny
Firefly has announced the second phase of its jet expansion programme with the launch of a Southern hub in Senai, Johor and an Eastern hub in Kota Kinabalu, alongside the introduction of new sectors and additional frequencies on the Sabah and Sarawak routes, which began in January.
“We are pleased to launch our new southern hub in Senai International Airport where we will be operating with a fleet of Boeing 737-400,” declared Firefly’s managing director Eddy Leong. “Concurrently, we have declared Kota Kinabalu as our eastern hub, which will enable us to further increase the frequencies for this sector. This brings our total hub infrastructure to five with our existing hubs in the central region at Subang and KL International Airport plus Penang in the northern region.
“Our customers will benefit from these hub locations as a result of having our aircraft stationed there. This will allow us to offer a wider selection of flight times, which will provide better connectivity to international flights in other airports and also give business travellers the benefit of a full workday upon arrival at their intended destination,” Leong added.
Kota Kinabalu, the new eastern hub, currently offers three daily flights to Kuala Lumpur and will add three flights from Terminal 1 from 15 May taking the total to six flights daily.
With the opening of the fifth hub in Senai, Firefly is confident of building on the numerous commercial and tourism activities generated in Johor Bahru via the Iskandar Malaysia development.
“Looking at the current developments in the state, we are indeed very motivated to kick-start our operations. Some of the encouraging projects that we foresee that will spur economic growth are the Genting tie-up with Chelsea Property group to develop an international class, premium designer factory outlet centre meant to attract four million visitors annually, and a number of upcoming projects that will focus on higher learning institutions and medical tourism,” Leong noted. “Today we offer for sale flights between Johor Bahru and Kuching, and between Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu. The flights will commence operations on 19 May and 16 June, respectively and both will have a frequency of 14 flights weekly.”
In addition to the East Malaysian sectors, Firefly is in the midst of applying for approvals to operate a number of Indonesian routes including those to Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung, which would be served from its Johor hub in the third quarter of 2011. Firefly also intends to fly from Johor Bahru to Bangkok in the fourth quarter of this year.