Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Firefly's Inaugural Flight to Kuala Terengganu

IT is not often that commercial airline passengers get welcomed aboard the aircraft by the pilot.

On Firefly’s flight FY 3152 from Penang to Kuala Terengganu on Tuesday evening, Kapt Yussairi Ishak was at the top of the stairs of the 50-seater Fokker 50 aircraft to personally welcome passengers.

He was all smiles and in an upbeat mood.

He even greeted Chinese passengers with Ni How Ma? (How are you?) in Mandarin.

Firefly's inaugural flight arriving at Sultan Ismail Airport
Seeing me carrying a copy of The Star, he happily pointed out that a picture of the Firelfy was on the cover.

To get to the plane, we had to walk about 100m from the Penang International Airport terminal building.

The aero bridge cannot be used for the Fokker 50 as the plane is smaller.

The flight was manned by four crew members - two pilots and two cabin crew.

The seats are divided into two rows, with two seats on each side with an aisle down the centre.

The fabric-covered seats were comfortable, there was ample leg space and the overhead luggage compartments were big enough to hold our carry-on bags.

The interior reminded me of MAS planes as the colours looked the same.

But unlike the kebaya worn by MAS cabin crew, the cabin staff wore black T-shirts with the Firefly logo and brown trousers.

Our flight left on time at 7pm, followed shortly by the demonstration of safety equipment on board by one of the cabin crew.

There was an onboard announcement to say that no outside food and drinks are allowed on the plane.

Drinks and snacks are on sale aboard, ranging from RM1 to RM7.

We could see land throughout the flight except when it was cloudy as the plane cruised at about 15,000 feet above sea level.

The weather was bad shortly after our smooth take-off and we were told to have our seat belts fastened, but there was no strong turbulence.

There was one toilet on board at the front left of the plane.

We were pleasantly surprised when Kapt Yussairi announced at 7.35pm that we would arrive at Kuala Terengganu at 7.50pm, 25 minutes ahead of schedule!

He said we were flying at a speed of 470km per hour.

But by the time we landed, it was about 7.55pm as we had to circle over the South China Sea for the landing.

The plan landed smoothly at the Sultan Mahmud airport where we were welcomed by state officials and kompang beaters since it was the inaugural Firefly flight to Kuala Terengganu.

Source : STAR
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