Firefly may soon resume Singapore flights: Malaysian minister

Firefly suspended all flights to Singapore from Dec 1, 2018, the day it was supposed to move its operations from Changi Airport to Seletar.
Firefly suspended all flights to Singapore from Dec 1, 2018, the day it was supposed to move its operations from Changi Airport to Seletar.PHOTO: ST FILE

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian carrier Firefly will soon know whether it can resume its services to Singapore, the country's Transport Minister Anthony Loke said yesterday.

The Star Online quoted Mr Loke as saying: "The official announcement will be made soon. We are still finalising the details. We hope they can resume their services soon."

However, Mr Loke did not indicate which country will make the announcement, nor did he give any indication of when the announcement will be made.

Firefly suspended all flights to Singapore from last Dec 1, the day it was supposed to move its operations from Changi Airport to Seletar Airport.

It was later revealed that this was because the airline had not received the green light from Malaysia's aviation regulator.

In a January statement in Parliament, Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said: "Ironically, CAAS (Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore) was trying to facilitate Firefly's operations at Seletar by installing the ILS (Instrument Landing System), which Malaysia has now objected to."

Malaysia claims that an ILS at Seletar would hamper the construction of tall buildings at Johor's Pasir Gudang, to the north of the airport.

 
 
 
 

Singapore has said repeatedly that this is not true as the new landing system does not impose new height restrictions.

The disagreement over flight procedures for Seletar Airport is part of a larger air dispute that also includes Malaysia's decision to declare a restricted zone over Pasir Gudang for military activities.

Singapore and Malaysia are also locked in a maritime dispute, sparked by Malaysia's unilateral decision to extend the Johor Baru port limits last October, and subsequent intrusions by Malaysian government vessels into Singapore waters.

On Jan 8, both countries agreed to simultaneously and immediately suspend - for one month in the first instance - the restricted area and ILS for Seletar.

Both sides later agreed to mutually continue with the suspension till the end of last month while they negotiated the issues.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2019, with the headline 'Firefly may soon resume S'pore flights: Malaysian minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe