Friday, March 16, 2007

Firefly won’t spark unhealthy air war

PUTRAJAYA: The Government will ensure there is no unnecessary and unhealthy competition among the airlines in the country, with the introduction of Penang-based carrier Firefly.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said it would be careful in considering matters such as giving away routes and traffic rights to airlines.

News conference: Chan speaking to reporters at KL International Airport in Sepang yesterday after a working session with Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd. Looking on is its managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad.
“Firefly is an airline to service a niche market, with routes not being flown by any other airline. We will make sure there won’t be any unnecessary and unhealthy competition among the airlines,” he told reporters yesterday.

“The airline is not low-cost per se but the fares it can offer to passengers will be lower because the operating costs for flying two turbo-prop aircrafts are much lower.”

Chan had announced on Wednesday that FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd would take to the skies from April 2, flying six routes from its base at the Penang International Airport.

Firefly is a fully owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines.

On another matter, Chan said the ministry and airport authorities had yet to decide if it should implement new security measures recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The organisation has recommended, among others, that airline passengers be barred from taking on board bottles of mineral water or more than 100ml of any liquid, gel or aerosol. Exceptions, however, will be made for milk and medicine.

Earlier, in Kuala Lumpur, Chan said social impact studies on a proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project had been completed and the Government was studying the findings.

Source : STAR
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