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Borneo, Kuching, Malaysia, Sarawak, Sarawak Economy, Sarawak Tourism, Sarawakian

So long Firefly, it was nice while it lasted …

SO long Firefly! It was good that you flew from KLIA to Kuching and then from KLIA to Sibu.

Sadly you will no longer do so because of the ir(rationalisation) programme.

MAS has finally come out and said that it will take over Firefly’s jet services. Which basically means Firefly’s services to Sarawak and Sabah.

Firefly will only handle flights within Peninsular Malaysia.

Despite the spin that this is part of efforts to cut down on loses, travel agent friends have pointed out that Firefly’s Kuching-KL flights always had a very high load factor (meaning they were full most of the time).

So who actually suffered during the running of the service? Not the airline, not the passengers, not the travel agents, not the hoteliers and not the tourism industry in general.

Apparently just a certain competitor that ironically wants everyone to fly!

MAS said in a statement that it will continue to operate all services to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, while MASWings would operate all flights to the other points within Sabah and Sarawak.

Somehow that sounds like no KL-Sibu, KL-Miri or KL-Bintulu flights any more. But I could, and hope I am, be interpreting the statement incorrectly!

I think we all know that we cannot rely on Malaya-based airlines any more. Anyway, I have great hopes that we will soon have our own regional airline to serve the needs of Sarawakians.

The report from Bernama:

MAS takes over Firefly’s jet services

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 (Bernama) — Malaysia Airlines Group has embarked on a network rationalisation programme which will see its subsidiary, Firefly, concentrating on serving short-haul turboprop operations and Malaysia Airlines focusing on enhancing its premium full-service offering.

Firefly’s turboprop operations will remain unaffected by this exercise, the group said in statement today.

The takeover of Firefly jet services by the group is part of the service separation plans under the business realignment exercise which addresses the continuing heavy losses being incurred by Firefly jet operations, it added.

“The takeover of jet services is an important part of the Group’s business realignment exercise and is prompted by the need to address network and fleet restructuring plans for short-haul jet services.

“With the consolidation of Firefly’s jet operations under the Group,Malaysia Airlines will focus on the business of growing our premium full-service segment,” said group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

The programme will be undertaken over a two-month period on a sector-by-sector basis, and will result in all Firefly jet aircraft being redeployed into Malaysia Airlines’ operations by Dec 4, 2011.

“Malaysia Airlines Group remains committed to Sabah and Sarawak and will continue to operate all services to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. In addition, MAS Wings will also continue to operate all flights to the other points within Sabah and Sarawak that are currently being served,” he said.

Firefly’s turboprop operations out of Subang and Penang airports will be strengthened with the recent delivery of two additional turboprop aircraft.

These aircraft will enable Firefly to reinstate the Subang–Kuantan–Subang services and also provide capacity to increase frequency of services on existing routes, the statement added.

The group also gave its fullest assurance to passengers that it will honour all jet flight seats sold on Firefly.

“The Group is committed to minimising the impact of any disruptions to the travel plans of Firefly jet passengers and will reassign all those affected to equivalent flights or better, at no additional cost, to ensure they reach their intended destinations,” it said.

Passengers with queries related to bookings or reservations on Firefly can write to customer_care@fireflyz.com.my with their booking confirmation number and flight details, or call 03-7845 4543 or visit http://www.fireflyz.com.my for more information.

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