As the aviation sector continues its slow and steady revival after being grounded due to Covid-19, Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) have confirmed their Firefly airline will add 10 narrow-body jets to its fleet. The new aircraft will service a growing number of flights for the recovering domestic, Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific markets in the months ahead. All will fly out of Penang International Airport.
Malaysia Aviation Group includes the premium carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAB), which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. To sure up its operations, MAG has created a long-term business strategy that focuses on strengthening the revenue streams of each subsidiary. Under this scheme, Firefly Airlines will commence jet operations from Q1 in 2021, servicing the leisure market and connecting secondary cities in Malaysia to East Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. These routes will be serviced by the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
“Based on available forecasts, domestic and short-haul travel will be most preferred in the current environment,” explains Izham Ismail, who is the CEO of MAG. “It makes commercial sense for Firefly to supply 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,” added Ismail.
Malaysia is preparing to lift restrictions on cross-border leisure travel to international arrivals in the next few months, opening the country up to visitors from neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia. The range of new flights from Penang are expected to service this new demand in the opening quarter of next year, and provide the basis for expansion thereafter. Firefly will offer a flexible service concept for the new jets, with product unbundling geared towards the wave of leisure-focused and price-sensitive customers expected to arrive soon.