Monday, October 1, 2012

Malaysia Airlines has not shelved plans to turn Firefly into a low-cost carrier

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has not scrapped plans to turn community airline, Firefly, into a low-cost carrier, Group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.

He said MAS was keeping its options open for Firefly, its wholly-owned subsidiary, to operate as a budget carrier but stressed that it was not in the immediate term.

“For now, we have a plan and the plan is to keep the turbo-prop aircraft in Firefly and MAS will do all the jets operations,” he told reporters at MAS’ 40th anniversary celebrations.

A turboprop engine aircraft is more fuel-efficient for short distance travel while jet engine aeroplanes, commonly used by commercial airlines, are more cost-effective for long-haul flights.

Firefly currently flies to 25 destinations including 12 international flights.

Ahmad Jauhari also said the national carrier would have another flight for the newly received Airbus A380 for the KL-London-KL route.

He said MAS is also planning to replace the Boeing 737-400 fleet over the next two years in tandem with plans to reduce the average age of its aircraft, which currently stood at 7.7 years.

Meanwhile, to mark its 40th anniversary celebrations, Ahmad Jauhari said MAS would be giving 80 free seats to selected customers to destinations across the airline’s network. – Bernama