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Firefly may take MAS jets to expand

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I think this is a good idea for MAS, initiate a fightback against AirAsia with value-for-money operations for customers. I myself am pretty excited that I can choose another airline to Kuching! However though, I think this is a precursor of having MAS mainline services to disappear from domestic flying altogether as Firefly expands. If you look at the schedules MAS ones have been reduced to accommodate Firefly services, especially after 24 January.

 

But it'll still be exciting as I think Firefly should go far with these routes, as long as people would be willing to swap over even though its only RM 20-50 more expensive with Firefly versus AirAsia.

 

Now I think it'll be all the 9M-ML? series B738s to be painted in FY livery and all the new 9M-MX? series to be with full MAS colours, the B734s in MAS colours would be history quite soon!

 

Also, it'll be fantastic if FY, MH and MasWings can interline all their booking engines together. The possibilities would be endless! Bario - London Heathrow? :p

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Full report from TMI: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/fireflys-new-boeing-737-800s-to-fly-from-klia/

 

PETALING JAYA, Nov 8 — Low-cost carrier (LCC) Firefly will add 30 Boeing 737-800s to its fleet over the next five years, which will operate from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) main terminal.

 

“Phase 1 of our plan, spanning 2011 to 2015, involves bringing into service a total of 30 aircraft, which will allow for an aggressive growth rate in our network,” Firefly managing director Datuk Eddy Leong told reporters here.

 

The Malaysia Airlines (MAS) wholly-owned unit will receive the initial six 737-800s next year, the first of which will ply the Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching routes from January 15, 2011 onwards.

 

Firefly will receive seven more jets in 2012, another seven in 2013, five in 2014 and the last five in 2015.

 

Leong explained that Firefly chose the 737-800 (picture) because it has been used to great effect by “the most successful LCCs in the world”, Southwest Airlines and Ryanair.

 

The narrow-body aircraft will feature a 189-seat single-class cabin, a range of up to 5665 km and a maximum speed of 876 km/h.

 

However, Leong declined to specify which new routes Firefly intends to ply, only confirming that the airline will focus on the Asean region.

 

“I can’t say too much now because... we’re going through the traffic rights approvals,” he said. “All the major Asean countries is eventually a candidate. It’s quite a no-brainer in many ways.”

 

Firefly will have a one-way code share with MAS, Leong also said. This means that MAS ticket holders will be able to fly on Firefly but not vice versa.

 

Leong pointed out that operating out of KLIA will allow Firefly to offer “a little bit of frills” at a marginal cost while keeping prices competitive, not to mention better flight connectivity with other airlines.

 

He stressed that Firefly will not cannibalise MAS business as the two airlines were focused on different market segments.

 

“Malaysia Airlines focuses on full service, we focus on value, the price-sensitive market. So I don’t foresee a cannibalisation issue,” Leong said.

 

Firefly will also maintain its existing turboprop fleet of seven ATR 72-500s, which currently operates out of Skypark Subang airport to 19 cities via 24 routes within Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

 

The airline plans to acquire three more such planes by January next year.

 

Leong added that Firefly has no intention of moving its turboprop fleet to KLIA as it is currently “making money in Subang”.

 

Firefly currently boasts a seat factor of 75 per cent, on-time performance of 90 per cent and customer satisfaction of 98.83 percent.

 

In 2010, it was awarded the Value Airline of the Year award by Frost & Sullivan and the Green Initiative of the Year award by Leaders in Aviation.

 

To launch its new routes, Firefly is offering 50,000 seats at RM9.00 all-in fare one-way, available on its website from today until Sunday.

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I think FY is absolutely right to go with the B738 and not the B734, if it is serious about being a full fledged LCC. This means that FY just needs to focus on this plane and not worry about replacing the junk B734s a few years down the road.

 

As far as FY is concerned, I guess all their B738s will be leased, either from MH or other lessors. Should be interesting to see if MH will pass some of the non-PTV equipped planes to FY. Single class with 189 seats is a good way to lower cost per seat.

 

I welcome FY as AK really needs some real competition. They are getting too cocky these days. Competition is good for everyone. AK is already a world class airline. Lets hope FY and AK push each other and both become even better!

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Just to share some questions I have in my mind after browsing through FY's website:

 

- It seems that the 'Standard Set/Premium Set' is optional. There is 'No, Thanks!' clickable button underneath it. Without the 'Standard Set', the introductory return fares to BKI or KCH is RM 18 only all in. Perfect for those who want to do daytrip - no luggage, not eating or drinking inflight and doesn't mind to seat anywhere in the aircraft.

 

- FY is going to have 30 minutes turnaround time at the destination airports, akin to AK.

 

- FY decision to operate from MTB and using the aerobridge is interesting to watch. Should FY is successful by doing so, this actually will indirectly told us that Dato Seri Tony Fernandes' reluctance of using the MTB (which forced the construction of the present LCCT, the whole Labu Airport fiasco and the new RM 2 billion KLIA2) and aerobridge all these while that it does not suits his LCC business model and that AK can't maintains its low fares if doing so, are an utter BS! I think AK should be very scared if FY can sustain this MTB + aerobridge business model. And also, will this development force AK to use aerobridge at KLIA2 as well?

 

 

- 2 B738s are reported to be assigned for this FY job. Now let's peruse the schedules:

 

FY 502 Dep 06:55 AM (KUL) Arr 09:30 AM (BKI)

FY 501 Dep 10:00 AM (BKI) Arr 12:25 PM (KUL)

 

FY 528 Dep 07:15 PM (KUL) Arr 09:50 PM (BKI)

FY 527 Dep 10:20 PM (BKI) Arr 12:45 AM (KUL)+1

 

.

 

FY 602 Dep 07:20 AM (KUL) Arr 09:05 AM (KCH)

FY 601 Dep 09:35 AM (KCH) Arr 11:15 AM (KUL)

 

FY 630 Dep 08:45 PM (KUL) Arr 10:30 PM (KCH)

FY 629 Dep 11:00 PM (KCH) Arr 12:40 AM (KUL)+1

 

It is no brainer that 1 aircraft will be assigned to BKI and KCH each, since the flying time between the 2 cities overlaps if it is to be operated by a single B738. Now the question is, what will the aircrafts do between 12:25 and 19:15 everyday for BKI (that's almost 7 hours) and between 11:15 and 20:45 everyday for KCH (that's 9.5 hours)? Just sitting idled on the tarmac at KUL? Or do other flights under MH flight code? How can MH tackle this (operate MH liveried aircraft for FY flights or FY liveried aircraft for MH flights which means the hardwares inside these 2 aircrafts should be interchangeable - inflight magazines for MH flights etc)?

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Mine from KUL to KCH with total MYR78 15th Jan 2011( 2 person with my wife ) Return To KUL..I'm not sure yet...Is it with 738??? :yahoo:

 

Waa..same flight with me KUL-KCH on 15th Jan FY602 07:20AM. Perhaps they will have some ceremony once arrive.

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Second question is easy to answer - MH is already doing one-way code share with FY. So no problems for MH if its MH coded flights are on FY liveried aircraft.

 

For MH, having FY as LCC helps them recover from the split personality that they are now having. FY will stem the revenue loss to AirAsia group airlines. It will pick up pax that MH would otherwise lose to AirAsia.The impact on

 

AirAsia should be interesting to watch - but FY's most immediate impact should mean that they cannot push fares up as much as they like. And MAHB might be giving FY such a good discount that their costs may be no different from that of the LCCT - so as to pressurise AK to accept aerobridges at KLIA2.

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I'm assuming all these new B738s will be the leased ones and not the MAS-owned ones? Anyway, great to see FY competing directly with AK as a LCC. Does this also mean that FY will be using the LCCT rather than the main terminal?

 

 

So MAS ideally should stop competing itself with AA..so to speak. I wonder, Josh, are the planes leased from someone else or a brand new one?

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Waa..same flight with me KUL-KCH on 15th Jan FY602 07:20AM. Perhaps they will have some ceremony once arrive.

 

ha ha. we'll be on same flight.

one thing if you do notice.

if you buy the standard service package for RM30, you got these

1. 15 kg luggage + 5kg extra

2. set meal

3. assigned seat (premium or standard)---> i chose premium seat at no extra charges... seat 2F

 

if not, itemised services will cost you a big bomb

1. luggage 15kg is RM20, 20kg is Rm30

2. standard meal is RM9

3. assigned seating premium (aka front seat, emergency exits not considered premium) RM25, normal seat RM5

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Noticed that FY, while using MTB, the airport tax that pax are paying is only RM8.99. FY managed to secure some discounts from MAHB?

 

Anyway,

- 30x 737-800 instead of old 737-400

- Codeshare with MH

- Utilizing MTB; good facilities and easy connection with other major airlines

- 'Standard Set/Premium Set'; 'Standard Set' is only RM30 for meal + seat selection + 15kg checked-in baggage

- The possibility for pax to purchase the add-ons they only need should they choose not to opt for the 'Standard Set/Premium Set'

- No convenience fee for payment by using credit card

 

All these will seriously give AK a run for its money. And best of all, these good news are announced right on the day before AK's free seats promotion. :pardon:

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(operate MH liveried aircraft for FY flights or FY liveried aircraft for MH flights which means the hardwares inside these 2 aircrafts should be interchangeable - inflight magazines for MH flights etc)?

If product differentiation MH vs FY comes about, I would be very unhappy if I paid for a MH flight but have it flown by a FY bird :)

 

Excellent development this LCC FY idea !

Now we have to wait and see and hope the people within can make it work properly

 

..... these good news are announced right on the day before AK's free seats promotion. :pardon:

You reckon these are only mere coincidences :D

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Just saw NTV7 8pm news....they showed the new Firefly route using B738NG aircraft.....the firefly livery on B738NG looks sleek n sexy...much better than our new MH livery...come on MH...do something....

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ha ha. we'll be on same flight.

one thing if you do notice.

if you buy the standard service package for RM30, you got these

1. 15 kg luggage + 5kg extra

2. set meal

3. assigned seat (premium or standard)---> i chose premium seat at no extra charges... seat 2F

 

if not, itemised services will cost you a big bomb

1. luggage 15kg is RM20, 20kg is Rm30

2. standard meal is RM9

3. assigned seating premium (aka front seat, emergency exits not considered premium) RM25, normal seat RM5

 

It's good to having a trip with MSWingers. See u soon Dr. Chuo. :D That's why during booking i saw 2F already booked by someone. I take seat 22F. Perhaps we can get some goodies for the first flight to KCH on 15th.

Raymond, I agreed the firefly livery on B738NG looks more sexy compared to MH new livery.

Edited by Ikman Ikreza

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Wow, you mean Firefly livery on the B738? Now that's enough reason to hit the airport again!

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Noticed that FY, while using MTB, the airport tax that pax are paying is only RM8.99. FY managed to secure some discounts from MAHB?

It is a general knowledge to us all that the airport tax for domestic flight in KUL MTB is RM 9 (versus RM 6 at the LCCT). So FY is basically paying that 1 sen on behalf of each and every passengers for this introductory promotion.

 

Based on this article:

 

MAHB announces incentive programme

Objective to attract more passengers, says Bashir

Ee Ann Nee Thursday, November 19th, 2009 07:12:00

 

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has announced an incentive programme for new and existing airlines operating in airports managed by them that is aimed at bringing more passengers.

 

MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad said yesterday that the Airline Recovery Programme, effective Jan 1 this year, is an additional incentive on top of the low airport charges and 50 per cent landing rebate to support airline partners through this recovery period.

 

Under the programme, new airlines flying into Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Low Cost Carrier Terminal and the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, that have a strong market base compared with other local airports, will receive an incentive payment of RM10 per passenger. To promote tourism in other States, a higher incentive payment of RM25 per passenger will be given to the airlines flying into its airports. The incentive is valid for new airlines in the first 12 months of operations, after which the growth incentive for existing airlines will apply. It is applicable to inbound passengers of international flights. These new airlines flying into Malaysia will also enjoy free landing fees for three years plus free office rental for six months.

 

Existing airlines, on the other hand, will be rewarded through a tier-based incentive scheme. Using last year’s passenger load volume as a base, MAHB will give an incentive payment of RM10 per passenger for the first 10 per cent growth, RM12.50 per passenger for the next eight per cent growth and RM15 for all additional passengers above 18 per cent.

 

The incentive will be reviewed after three years.

 

Bashir said MAHB had been proactive by having a series of discussions with the government, the International Air Transport Association and the airlines before finalising the programme. “The response from the airlines has been good. We are expecting four to five per cent growth in passenger load this year and a three to four per cent growth next year from increased flight frequencies,” he said, adding that the programme would be funded from commercial revenue.

 

Bashir said the scheme is aimed at getting more passengers into the country to boost recovery in this economic crisis. “The basic incentive we give to airlines is our low airport charges — currently the lowest in the region, if not the world.

 

“Under the government’s Economic Stimulus Plan for airlines, a 50 per cent discount has also been offered on all landings, for all airlines, at all airports in Malaysia from April this year to March 2011. And now, we top it off with the programme that airlines have been waiting for.”

 

I think, FY can expect the following incentive from MAHB:

 

- 50 per cent landing rebate at KUL

- An incentive payment of RM 10 per passenger for 12 months (for being new airlines flying in KUL)

 

 

If product differentiation MH vs FY comes about, I would be very unhappy if I paid for a MH flight but have it flown by a FY bird.

This is what I had in my mind when posting the earlier reply #180. Passengers purchased tickets through MH website on MH fares but are assigned on FY aircrafts just because it is code shared. That is surely not right since MH is a legacy while FY is a LCC. I don't think QF and JQ (same structure as MH-FY) do any arrangement like that in domestic Australian routes between them. The interchangeable SQ-MI code share flights is not valid for comparison with MH-FY because both SQ and MI are legacies.

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It is a general knowledge to us all that the airport tax for domestic flight in KUL MTB is RM 9 (versus RM 6 at the LCCT).

Thanks for pointing out. I mixed it up with the international flight airport tax, which is RM51..

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While FY B738 will be operating from the MTB in the near future, remember that the new terminal being constructed is called the the (new) LCCT (or something similar) and not AirAsia Terminal. Therefore there is a good chance FY will operate from there once it is ready.

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While FY B738 will be operating from the MTB in the near future, remember that the new terminal being constructed is called the the (new) LCCT (or something similar) and not AirAsia Terminal. Therefore there is a good chance FY will operate from there once it is ready.

 

Capt, do you know if they will be using the aerobridge for boarding? I wanted to book a flight for a disabled passenger but I wasn't able to as I was told that they would need to climb a flight of stairs.

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It's good to having a trip with MSWingers. See u soon Dr. Chuo. :D That's why during booking i saw 2F already booked by someone. I take seat 22F. Perhaps we can get some goodies for the first flight to KCH on 15th.

Raymond, I agreed the firefly livery on B738NG looks more sexy compared to MH new livery.

 

 

Hahaha...i also want to meet both of you guys... :drinks:

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Firefly plans to expand services and take up 30 B737-800s

 

PETALING JAYA: Firefly, a wholly-owned unit of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), would take up to 30 B737-800 aircraft from year-end to 2015 as part of its expansion into east Malaysia now and into the regional markets in future.

 

The airline, which currently operates turbo-propeller planes from Subang airport, would take in its first jet aircraft in December and use it from January for daily flights out of the main terminal building at KL International Airport (KLIA) to Kota Kinabalu (KK) and Kuching.

 

By Jan 15, it would operate two daily flights each from Kuala Lumpur to KK and KL to Kuching. The flights would be increased to thrice daily for KL-KK and four times a day for KL-Kuching on Jan 24.

 

Firefly plans to partly lease and partly own the B737 aircraft. Six would be in operation next year, seven each for 2012 and 2013 and five each for 2014 and 2015. To-date, it has secured the lease for four out of the six B737s needed next year.

 

“We will lease from the open market and will place (purchase) orders for the aircraft by third or fourth quarter of next year.

 

“Hopefully, by then, we will have enough cash for the pre-delivery payments,” FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Eddy Leong said at a briefing on Firefly’s expansion plans yesterday.

 

Leong said Firefly, which was currently profitable, would finance the initial aircraft delivery via internal funds and that the company would not look to raise funds.

 

A local bank-backed analyst said Firefly was likely to lease its B737 aircraft needs up to 2012, and make purchases once it could prove itself with good profits from the leased B737 aircraft.

 

“Leasing is less taxing on the balance sheet but will be more expensive over the long term. The open market lease charges changes from quarter to quarter.

 

“A brand-new low-specs (specification) B737-800 from the open market (can be leased currently) at US$350,000-US$390,000 per month,” said the analyst when contacted by StarBiz.

 

Leong told reporters that Firefly’s 30 B737-800s were separate from the 35 B737-800 aircraft order (with an option for 20) made by parent company MAS.

 

He said the aircraft choice was modelled after the two most successful low-cost carriers (LCC) in the world, America’s Southwest Airlines and Europe’s Ryanair.

 

The B737-800s can fly some six hours plus and has 189 seats – nine seats more than the Airbus 320s used by LCCs AirAsia, JetStar Airways and Tiger Airways.

 

“The B737-800 has a lower operating cost compared with another aircraft (A320). Firefly’s fares will be extremely competitive and our unit cost (cost per available seat kilometer – CASK) will be the lowest in Malaysia,” Leong added.

 

AirAsia’s CASK last year stood at 10.41 sen while its CASK for the second quarter ended June this year was 11.74 sen.

 

Leong also dismissed reports that Firefly would be taking on MAS’ older B737-400 aircraft.

 

Analysts said Firefly’s entry into the jet market would not impact AirAsia in the immediate future but in 2012.

 

“The immediate impact will be minor. It will more likely be felt in 18 months,” said an analyst with a foreign research house.

 

The local bank-backed analyst anticipates that Firefly would look to further compete with AirAsia’s stronghold over domestic flights to east Malaysia, which include Sibu, Miri, Tawau and Sandakan.

 

Asked when Firefly would expand into Asean countries using the jets, Leong said it depended on when Firefly received the rights.

 

“We are going through the traffic right approvals and also the slots. I think all the major Asean countries are potential candidates,” he added.

 

Leong said Firefly was not using the temporary low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) as it was congested and preferred the main terminal due to its code share with MAS.

 

But he did not rule out the possibility of shifting operations to the new LCCT, KLIA2, once it was ready.

 

“We are in discussions with MAB (Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd). We are waiting for a lot of details to be shared before we make a decision,” said Leong.

 

He said there were no complexities involved in flying out from two points, Subang and KLIA, and would maintain the turboprop operations in Subang airport.

 

Firefly currently has seven ATR 72-500 aircraft and would add another two by December and one by January next year.

 

Meanwhile, MAS was voted the World’s Leading Airline to Asia by World Travel Awards.

 

Source: http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/11/9/business/7387235&sec=business

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Firefly scales new heights

FLYFIREFLY Sdn Bhd (Firefly), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, plans to add 30 new and bigger Boeing 737-800s to its fleet over the next five years to serve domestic and regional routes.

 

Its managing director Datuk Eddy Leong, said the airline's first 737-800 will arrive next month, in time for its inaugural twice-daily services from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching scheduled for launch on January 15 next year.

 

"Firefly will receive the initial six 737-800s next year, including the first expected to arrive in December, followed by seven more jets in 2012, another seven in 2013, five in 2014 and the last five in 2015.

 

"The new fleet of 737-800s will operate from the main building of KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang)," he said in a media briefing to announce Firefly's fleet and route expansion in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

 

Firefly plans to fly in and out of major cities in Asean

"In fact, the aircraft can even go to India and China but as of now, our focus will be more on capitalising the prospects in Asean countries," he said.

 

Firefly will maintain its existing turboprop fleet of seven ATR 72-500s, which currently operates out of Skypark Subang Airport.

 

For a start, the airline had secured a lease for four 737-800s and is expected to receive the first aircraft of firm orders by 2013.

 

"We expect to start placing orders for the aircraft by the third or fourth quarter of next year and probably receive them from 2013 or 2014," he said.

 

Firefly will use internal funds for pre-delivery payments.

 

Leong dismissed suggestions that Firefly will buy the 30 737-800s from MAS' firmed order of 35 and option of 20 for the similar aircraft.

 

"Those aircraft are (solely) for them. As for our plan, all will be leased in the first year. Later, we go and order separately."

 

He also ruled out the possibility of Firefly buying currently used 737-400s from MAS following the national carrier's purchase of the next generation 737-800s.

 

"No. In fact we have not been asked," he said.

 

Firefly is picking the 737-800 because it is more cost-efficient and has nine seats more compared with similar aircraft, namely the A320.

 

The airline is studying the possibility of relocating its jet operations from the KLIA main terminal to the new and permanent low-cost carrier terminal.

 

But it will not move from Subang as its turboprop business is profitable.

 

Source: http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/bflyfly-2/Article/

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