Firefly to mount international flights from KLIA

FIREFLY’S Boeing 737-800 aircraft will commence services to South-east Asian destinations out of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in the third quarter of 2012.

Managing director Eddy Leong said the airline was looking at routes that were within six hours’ flight time.

The carrier, which has been operating with ATR 72-500 turboprops out of Subang Airport, will launch twice-daily flights from KLIA to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching this Saturday. This will increase to thrice daily for Kota Kinabalu and four times daily for Kuching from January 24.

Firefly would have 13 B737-800s by 2012, up from two now, and by 2015, this would grow to 30 or more.

At a recent press conference, Leong guaranteed airfares would be at least 10 per cent lower than that of its rival, AirAsia.

A random check on the websites of both airlines for airfares from Kuala
Lumpur to Kuching showed that AirAsia’s lowest fare for February 8 was RM223 (US$73), whereas Firefly’s lowest fare was RM148.95. senior manager, operations management, John Chan said pricing was the most important factor for attracting leisure tourists, while business travellers were influenced by flight times.

Leong added that Firefly had plans to set up secondary bases for its B737-800 aircraft in Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching as this would help improve rotation times and schedules.

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