Friday, August 31, 2007

Firefly (PEN)

Psst! Work stressing you out? Need a short break? Hurry over to the Firefly airline webpage and book yourself a ticket out of Penang for a few days. Firefly is a new low cost airline (a full subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines) based out of Penang International Airport. It has six destinations (check out the route map from Firefly’s website below) and currently has a fleet size of two Fokker 50s (9M-MGI and 9M-MGK). Plans to expand the fleet have been set in motion with the order of ten ATR 72-500s.

Firefly route map

Firefly 9M-MGI awaiting passengers

Flight fares are tantalizingly low. We flew to Langkawi recently for RM9.99 each way. After taxes, the tickets were a little less than RM50 each way. Check in is painless, due to the low number of passengers on a F50. Infants under two can fly with an adult for a fee. Strollers and car seats have to be stowed in the aircraft as lugguge.

Check In at PEN
Firefly counters at PEN

As with most LCCs, you have to pay for food and drinks onboard the flight. The cabin crew may or may not get a commission from their sales (like some other LCCs), but I’m not sure how much sales they drum up on the short flights. They could do with a better uniform though. There are talks about extending the sevice to KL, Johor Baru, and Kota Kinabalu (some Air Asia competition?). We enjoyed our flight and found the cabin and ground crew friendly and efficient and hope that Penang will remain the hub.

Interior shot

Pratt & Whitney PW125B

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