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Aviation Blog

Malaysia's Firefly to resume B737 ops in 1Q22 – ch-aviation


Firefly (FY, Penang) is planning to restart B737-800 operations in early 2022 as its parent holding Malaysia Aviation Group anticipates the domestic market to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels next year.
"If things go well, we will have the [Firefly narrowbody] operations starting again in the early first quarter next year, subject to the recovery of domestic business," MAG Chief Operating Officer Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi told media during the virtual Aviation 101 conference.
Firefly currently operates as a regional subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, deploying a fleet of twelve ATR72-500s out of Kuala Lumpur Subang. However, in May, the carrier was due to begin narrowbody operations with three B737-800s transferred from its parent and deployed out of Penang on a domestic point-to-point network. It put the idea on hold after just three flights and all three Boeing aircraft returned to MAG in late July 2021.
Ahmad Luqman explained that Firefly’s decision to scrub the plan came as a result of the Movement Control Order 3.0, a national lockdown programme implemented in early May. However, he vowed that Firefly’s foray into the narrowbody segment would happen. It plans to operate ten B737-800s by 2025, deploying them domestically within Malaysia and on short-haul international routes.
Meanwhile, MAG hopes to see domestic demand returning in the fourth quarter of this year and fully recovering to pre-pandemic levels at some point in 2022. International demand is not expected to return before mid-2023 and could take until early 2024 to fully rebound. Ahmad Luqman underlined that the group’s current business plan covers various recovery scenarios, and at this moment, there is no reason to adjust it.
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Firefly (FY, Penang) resumed narrowbody jet operations on May 3, 2021, using a single B737-800 transferred from its parent Malaysia Airlines.
9M-MXF (msn 40133), a 9.6-year-old aircraft ordered by and delivered new to Malaysia Airlines, was retired by the flag carrier on December 12, 2020, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. It was reactivated on April 30 for test flights after transfer to Firefly. On May 3, it operated the first revenue flight from Penang to Johor Bahru and return.
Firefly said that during May, it would start running its B737-800s from Penang to Johor Bahru in southern peninsular Malaysia, and Kuching and Kota Kinabalu on Borneo. However, the first flight to Kota Kinabalu, which was due to take place on May 3, was cancelled, while services to Kuching have yet to be formally scheduled.
The second and third B737-800s to be transferred to Firefly, 9M-MXU (msn 40158) and 9M-MXV (msn 40159), were ferried to Penang on May 1 and May 3, respectively, but have yet to enter service for…
Firefly (FY, Penang) will launch narrowbody operations in January 2021, initially connecting its hub at Penang airport with Johor Bahru (3x daily), Kota Kinabalu, and Kuching (2x daily) each.
“Penang is a great place to start because it has a great mixture of leisure and corporate business,” TTG Asia quoted Chief Executive Phillip See during a business conference.
The carrier will operate three B737-800s transferred from its parent, Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int’l). Eventually, it plans to add up to ten of the Boeing narrowbodies as it seeks to complement its parent’s operations in Malaysia.
According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Firefly currently operates twelve ATR72-500 turboprops. Its core business is connecting the Malaysian capital via Kuala Lumpur Subang with key regional cities, although it also operates a number of point-to-point routes bypassing Kuala Lumpur.
For its part, Malaysia Airlines’ domestic network is operated in a hub-and-spoke model via Kuala Lumpur Int’l. The carrier has forty-seven B737-800s. Its regional…
Editorial Comment: Fixed destination from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Kota Kinabalu. – 24.12.2020 – 16:42 UTC
Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int’l) parent Malaysia Aviation Group has offered early retirement to its employees as it continues negotiations with creditors and lessors, the national news agency Bernama reported after seeing an application form for the scheme.
The plan is being aimed at employees across the group, including subsidiaries Firefly (FY, Penang) and MASwings (MY, Kota Kinabalu) and is targeted at Malaysia-based employees aged 45 and over who have been in the company for at least 10 years.
The scheme appears to be “fair” in view of the group’s moves to pare down operations at Malaysia Airlines, Ismail Nasaruddin, president of the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia, told the news agency.
“The offer is only for three months’ salary, but if the outcome doesn’t match the numbers they are looking for then more drastic measures may be implemented such as termination or retrenchment,” he said.
Malaysia Aviation Group currently has a 12,000-strong workforce, according to Bernama.
As previously reported, the group has warned lessors…
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