KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) has announced the start of jet operations for its subsidiary, Firefly Airlines, in the first quarter of 2021.
For the operations, 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 the Penang International Airport.
In a statement today, MAG group CEO Izham Ismail said domestic and short-haul travel would be the most preferred in the current environment and it made commercial sense to meet this demand from the northern region.
“This is in line with the group’s enhanced long-term business plan 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,” he said.
With this plan, Firefly will be complementing its sister company, Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), in serving the leisure market while diversifying its base, connecting secondary cities in Malaysia to East Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
MAG said it will leverage available resources and talents from within the group, with a possibility of deploying the Boeing 737-800 aircraft from MAB, giving it room to focus on its premium market network.
Firefly CEO Philip See said Firefly is ready to take on that challenge as it sees strong potential in the dual hub strategy while maintaining its turbo propeller service out of Subang Skypark, serving a mix of corporate and leisure travellers.
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, of 36% over the next five years.