fireflyPETALING JAYA, April 21 — Community airline Firefly has obtained approval from the Transport Ministry to operate the Singapore route from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, its Subang hub.

Managing director Eddy Leong said the airline expects to start the Subang-Singapore route in June this year, with a frequency of 28 times weekly.

The approval followed the decision by Malaysia and Singapore to further liberalise air travel between the two countries.

“We just got the approval today from the Transport Ministry and we also have been approved as the designated airline to fly into Singapore,” said Leong after launching WOW Bargains, the promotional tickets and packages to the airline’s newly launched routes here today.

On May 2 and 15, Firefly is flying to Batam and Padang in order to increase the inflow of travelers for business, leisure, medical and educational purposes into Malaysia.

It is understood that in addition to the Subang-Singapore route, Firefly, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS), has also obtained approval to fly from five routes to Singapore.

These are Penang-Singapore (14 times weekly), Ipoh-Singapore (four times weekly), Terengganu-Singapore (three times weekly), Kuantan-Singapore (three times weekly), Melaka-Singapore (four times weekly).

For the Penang-Singapore route, Leong said it will also start in June, followed by the Terengganu-Singapore, Kuantan-Singapore and Ipoh-Singapore routes in July.

For the Melaka-Singapore route, the airline expects to start flying in September, he said.

Asked whether Firefly has enough aircraft to serve the new routes, Leong said the number of planes are adequate to serve its expansion routes.

Currently, Firefly has five ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft and it expects to get two more new planes this year, he said.

However, Leong said, Firefly was considering whether to take three more planes because of the current economic situation, adding that this would be decided by year-end or early next year.

On WOW Bargains, he said customers could win airline tickets to all MAS destinations, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.

At the event, Firefly also gave away prizes to the top spenders at the recent Matta Fair.

On the Matta Fair, Leong said that sales increased by two-and-a-half times from last year and also contributed to record-breaking sales for March for Firefly since the airline was set up in April 2007. — Bernama

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