Firefly looks to expand turboprop ops

Firefly, celebrating its fifth year in operation this April, is looking to expand its network and says it plans to acquire more turboprops to support that growth.

The airline operates out of two hubs, Penang, and Kuala Lumpur Subang. It serves communities in 18 destinations across Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. In 2011, Firefly flew 1.5 million passengers on just 10 ATR 72-500s and with another two of the type in the fleet, expects to fly over 30% more passengers in 2012.

According to Ignatius Ong, COO of Short-Haul Malaysia Airlines/Firefly, “Our turboprop operations remain strong and are poised to grow further in 2012. There are plans to expand Firefly’s existing network and acquire more turboprop aircraft to support the growth within the medium to longer term period. Passengers can look forward to an increase in frequencies for selected routes in March and announcements of new routes in the near future.”

Firefly says it prides itself on providing excellent service, warm hospitality and a memorable passenger experience. So regular customer satisfaction surveys are conducted during flights to ensure the standard of its services remain high. Overall, a rating of above 95 per cent is consistently given by passengers for its services.

“We strongly reiterate that the turboprop aircraft operating out of the Subang and Penang hubs to other domestic and international destinations remain unaffected [following the withdrawal of jet services] and plans for growth are in motion,” added Ong. “In fact, the management team has commenced looking into assessing the use of next generation turboprop aircraft which aims at supplying more capacity, better fuel efficiencies and lesser carbon emission. This aligns well with Firefly’s commitment in safeguarding the environment.

“Firefly is a part of the community it serves and its bright turboprop aircraft will continue to connect small towns and cities that otherwise would not enjoy the benefit of fast, efficient and safe air travel,” Ong concluded.

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