Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Firefly takes delivery of new ATR72-500 aircraft

Firefly has taken delivery of its new ATR72-500 turbo-propeller aircraft with its first flight between Subang airport and Kota Baru.

The airline is hoping that the aircraft, which arrived here yesterday after a four-day flight from Toulouse in France, will boost its efficiency.

Firefly, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), is replacing its three Fokker-50s with ATR72-500 planes which run on 40% less fuel and are more cost-effective.

Its managing director Eddy Leong said he hoped to reduce cost by 20%.

“This would be primarily due to fuel efficiency.

“The 72-seater ATR will also be able to carry 22 more passengers than the Fokker-50, even though most of the charges for both planes (such as landing charges and parking charges) are almost the same,” he told reporters.

Also present to welcome the new aircraft was Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat and MAS managing director and Firefly chairman Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

Leong said another five were expected to arrive next year, and a further 10 in 2010.

Leong also announced the launching of new routes from Penang to Medan and Banda Aceh, and from Subang to Pekanbaru, Johor Baru and Koh Samui in October.

Source : STAR
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