Firefly may not be able to return to Changi

Firefly suspended operations to Singapore from Dec 1, 2018, as it did not have approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to make the move.
Firefly suspended operations to Singapore from Dec 1, 2018, as it did not have approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to make the move.PHOTO: ST FILE

Malaysian carrier Firefly may not be able to return to operating flights from Changi Airport.

The Malaysia Airlines subsidiary had applied for airport slots in Seletar Airport, hence its slots at Changi have been given up and redistributed to other airlines, said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.

Firefly suspended operations to Singapore from Dec 1, as it did not have approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to make the move. CAAM had said that regulatory issues need to be resolved between the civil aviation authorities of both countries over the proposed move, as well as outstanding airspace issues.

Malaysia has protested against new flight procedures that will be implemented at Seletar next year, claiming the flight paths will stunt the development of the Pasir Gudang area.

Mr Ignatius Ong, Firefly's chief executive, has said in news reports that he is appealing to the Malaysian government for help to get back Firefly's slots at Changi Airport.

Firefly has incurred significant losses due to the suspension of flights to Singapore, its second largest destination from Subang after Penang, Malaysian daily New Straits Times reported.

Firefly had in 2014 agreed to shift operations from Changi to a new passenger terminal in Seletar Airport, that would handle turboprop flights, which Firefly operates. Mr Khaw said it had inspected Seletar and was pleased with it.

 

"As a result, months ago, they applied for slots in Seletar and we welcomed them there."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2018, with the headline 'Firefly may not be able to return to Changi'. Print Edition | Subscribe