Firefly expands Thai routes
KOH SAMUI: Community airline Firefly is looking to add Hua Hin next year as its fourth Thai destination.
MAS Sdn Bhd (formerly known as FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd) head of marketing and communications Angelina Corrina Fernandez said the airline is launching its inaugural Subang-Hat Yai flight this Friday after deferring it earlier this year due to the bomb attacks in Yala and Songkla.
"The potential expansion into Hua Hin next year is likely to be from Penang," she said told Business Times during a media familiarisation trip to Koh Samui, in conjunction with the relaunch of the airline's Penang-Koh Samui route on Saturday.
Its existing Thai route from its hubs at Subang and Penang are to Phuket.
At a press conference here, attended by the Koh Samui coordination centre chief Saiphayom Somsuk, Fernandez said: "We are also looking at other islands in Thailand, but this would hinge on the kind of demand the routes would have and its suitability for our aircraft."
Firefly, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, operates a fleet of 12 French-Italian made ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft from Subang and Penang. It connects secondary destinations within the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle, as well as provides air linkages within Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Firefly's chief executive officer Ignatius Ong in a statement said: "Being the only airline that commercially services the Penang-Koh Samui route, Firefly's direct access and convenient travel time into both islands provides tremendous convenience and travel options to customers.
"Apart from the locals and expatriates from the northern region, we are targeting foreign customers for this route, particularly from the Middle East, Japan, Korea, the UK, India and Australia who largely choose Penang as their preferred holiday destination during the intense seasons in their respective homelands."
Ong added that as the islands are seen to be in demand for these market segments, an access to Koh Samui via Penang would be ideal for travellers who are keen to explore spectacular beaches in the region concurrently.