Firefly ATR 72-500. Photo: Alec Wilson.

MIAMI – As part of Malaysia Aviation Group’s (MAG) long-term business restructuring plan, subsidiary Firefly (FY) will start operations from the first quarter of 2021. According to the airline, it hopes next year will bring a post-COVID-19 environment.

For these operations, FY will add 10 narrow-body jets to its fleet, which currently includes 12 ATR 72-500 aircraft. The aircraft will be put into service in three phases. The first operations will serve domestic markets, followed by those of Asia and the Asia Pacific.

MAG Group CEO, Captain Izham Ismail said that this business realignment seeks to strengthen the revenue streams of each subsidiary. Apart from Malaysia Airlines (MH) and FY, sister carriers include Malaysia Airlines Cargo, MASwings (MY), Amal Airlines, and AeroDarat Services.

Back to FY, the group said the the airline still needs a minimal investment in 2021 to setup operations at Penang International Airport (PEN). It also forecasts a production increase that relies on ASK by 36% over the next five years.

So far, it is expected that FY will focus on leisure using a price-flexible strategy to gain more placement in Asia. MAG added that the airline would continue to offer premium carrier service and point accretion redeemable for its customers.

Firefly ATR 72-500. Photo: YSSYguy.

Granted Bid vs Major Plan Rejection

Last week, MH announced that it would go into liquidation if its shareholders failed to fund its restructuring process. Accordingly, it prepared two plans. The second plan included a progressive aircraft addition to the FY business.

Just days ago, MH’s restructuring plan was rejected. With today’s announcement, everything seems to indicate that MAG’s subsidiaries will get a boost to their market presence. Regarding MH, MAG’s principal operator, it has still not taken off after six years, bringing to mind the two fatal accidents in 2014.

Featured photo: Firefly ATR 72-500. Photo: Alec Wilson.