FIREFLY ON TRACK TO HIT 2017 TARGET
Airline expects to carry 1.25m to 1.3m passengers
AUDREY DERMAWAN GEORGE TOWN firstname.lastname@example.org
HAVING recorded close to 500,000 passengers in the first four months of this year, premium short-haul carrier Firefly, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines Bhd, is on track to meet its target of carrying between 1.25 million and 1.3 million passengers this year.
“We are doing more than 100,000 a month now and on track to achieve the target.
“This is despite Firefly having taken out six aircraft from its previous fleet of 18 and cutting three non-profitable routes,” said its chief executive officer Ignatius Ong at a media gathering, here, on Wednesday.
Last year, the airline carried 1.2 million passengers in 18 aircraft. It stopped three direct flights to Koh Samui, Krabi and Medan from Penang at the end of last year.
Ong said Firefly’s 92 per cent on-time performance rating last year and the first four months of this year made it a better choice for air travellers compared with other airlines.
He said coupled with numerous including exports from Thailand, exports now accounted for more than 10 per cent of total revenue.
For its first half ended March 31, F&N’s pre-tax profit declined 6.7 per cent to RM260.8 million from RM279.45 million in the same period last year. Revenue was slightly higher at RM2.084 billion from RM2.082 billion previously. measures in place, the airline’s load factor increased to about 70 per cent from more than 50 per cent last year.
Ong said the increase in operational costs, on the back of a softer ringgit, had hit the group badly.
“However, our zero wastage measure to cope with rising costs has done us some good,” he added.
“Our first-half performance in Malaysia reflects the current state of the economy with continued weak consumer sentiment, rising consumer pricing index and intense competition,” said Lim.
He added that business conditions would continue to be challenging with prolonged weak consumer sentiment and intensifying
Ong said Firefly had also introduced several value-added services to combat competition, such as the FY c-wallet for corporate travellers and the FY ewallet, a loyalty programme for frequent flyers where consumers can buy credits with 20 per cent extra reward. Other services include an online store as well as travel and auto insurance. price discounting while input costs in subsequent quarters were expected to increase following the uptrend in packaging, milk powder and sugar prices.
Lim said the F&N group had allocated an additional RM200 million in capital expenditure to expand its manufacturing plants in Malaysia and Thailand in the next two years. Bernama
Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Lim Yew Hoe (left) and chief financial officer Tan Hock Beng after a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Firefly chief executive officer Ignatius Ong says the carrier has introduced several value-added services to combat competition.