Firefly (airline)

Firefly (stylised as firefly) is a low-cost carrier subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines that offers flights within Malaysia, as well as to Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. [1] Firefly operates from its main hub at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang and from its secondary hub at Penang International Airport. The airline's first flight was on 3 April 2007, from Penang to Kota Bharu. The company slogan is Beyond Convenience.

IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedMarch 16, 2007 (2007-03-16)
Commenced operationsApril 3, 2007 (2007-04-03)
Operating bases
Fleet size15
Parent companyMalaysia Airlines
HeadquartersPetaling Jaya
Selangor, Malaysia
Key peopleMr. Philip See


A Firefly Boeing 737-800 at Kota Kinabalu International Airport with its former livery, 2011.

Firefly offers domestic flights from Penang to Langkawi, Kota Bharu, Subang, and to the international destinations Banda Aceh in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand. Its flights from Subang serve Penang, Langkawi, Alor Setar, Johor Bahru, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bharu and Singapore.

The airline briefly operated jet aircraft in 2011, offering flights to Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Sandakan and Sibu from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and internationally to Bandung and Surabaya via Johor Bahru. Acting as a low-cost arm for Malaysia Airlines, the airline planned to include destinations in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, China, India and Taiwan by 2015.[2]

Domestically, the airline previously served an extensive intra-peninsula connection from its turboprop secondary hub in Penang and Johor Bahru to most major cities in Peninsular Malaysia. Nonetheless, following the major restructuring of the company, the airline decided to axed its jet operations by the end of 2011 and halted its planned turboprop expansion to Bangkok–Don Mueang (via Kota Bharu),[3] Bengkulu, Jambi and Pangkal Pinang.

Firefly operates the only scheduled passenger flights from Singapore's Seletar Airport since 2019, flying to its Subang hub using turboprop aircraft.[4][5] In the same year, the airline has announced its interest to commenced a new operation to Betong Airport in Thailand from Kuala Lumpur-Subang.[6][7][8]

In October 2020, the company has announced the resumption of its jet service from January 2021. Concentrating secondary routes from Penang International Airport, the airline selected Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Johor Bahru as its pioneer destinations. In March 2022, Firefly had announced that they will be flying from Penang to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching using their B737-800 aircraft starting April 2022. On 11 April 2022, Firefly had its B737-800 inaugural passenger flight from Johor to Penang.

Other than that, Firefly said they also have plans to make Kota Kinabalu International Airport as their secondary hub by 2023.[9]

Country City Airport Notes Refs
IndonesiaBanda AcehSultan Iskandar Muda International Airport
MalaysiaAlor SetarSultan Abdul Halim Airport
Johor BahruSenai International Airport[10][11][12]
Kota BharuSultan Ismail Petra Airport[13]
Kota KinabaluKota Kinabalu International Airport
Kuala LumpurSultan Abdul Aziz Shah AirportHub[14]
Kuala TerengganuSultan Mahmud Airport
KuchingKuching International Airport
LangkawiLangkawi International Airport
PenangPenang International AirportHub
SingaporeSingaporeSeletar Airport
ThailandPhuketPhuket International Airport

In the past, the airline has had operated scheduled passenger service to Ipoh, Kerteh, Kuantan, Malacca, Sandakan and Sibu in Malaysia; Bandung, Batam, Medan, Padang and Pekanbaru, Indonesia; and Hat Yai, Hua Hin and Koh Samui in Thailand.


As of October 2022, Firefly operates the following aircraft:[15]

Firefly Fleet
Aircraft In Service Passengers Notes
ATR 72-500 9 72
Boeing 737-800 4 189 Transferred from Malaysia Airlines.
Total 13

Fleet history

Firefly ATR 72–500 at Langkawi Airport

A revival of the airline's route was commenced in 2021, now operated via Penang International Airport as its main hub.

Firefly started operations with two 50-seater Fokker 50 aircraft. It also took delivery of a third leased Fokker 50 aircraft to expand its services.

On 26 June 2007, Malaysia Airlines signed an agreement for the acquisition of ten ATR 72-500 aircraft with options for ten more (which was exercised), to replace the Fokker 50s.[16] The aircraft started to arrive from 11 August 2008,[17] with five delivered in 2008, five in 2009, four in 2010 and the rest in 2011.[18] All Fokker F50s retired by the end of 2008.

On 25 August 2010, Firefly announced that it would take up four ATR 72s in the option clause of the purchase agreement.[19] On 8 November 2010, Firefly announced an order for 30 Boeing 737-800 aircraft from year-end to 2015 as part of its expansion into east Malaysia initially, and into regional markets in the future. Firefly's first Boeing 737-800 arrived in December 2010 and began its operations on 15 January 2011.[20][21]

On 16 August 2011, Firefly announced that it would only operate the ATR aircraft from Subang and Penang, and cease its Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-400 flights.[22] Jet operations were discontinued in accordance with a restructuring-of-services agreement made between Malaysia Airlines (Firefly's parent company) and AirAsia. On 16 September 2011, Firefly ceased the Johor Bahru – Kuching route. Other Boeing 737 services, including Kuala Lumpur – Kuching, Kuala Lumpur – Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta, were transferred to Malaysia Airlines in October 2011.[23]

On 18 December 2012, MASwings' parent company, Malaysia Airlines, ordered 36 ATR 72-600s for its subsidiaries. Twenty of the ordered aircraft will be delivered to Firefly while the remaining sixteen will enter service with MASwings.

In October 2020, the Malaysia Aviation group (MAG) had announced that the airline will recommence its jet operations in the first quarter of 2021. There will be ten jets in fleet.[24][25]


  1. "Contact Info." Firefly. Retrieved on 21 April 2016. "Principal Office FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd, Lot R-01, 3rd Floor, CITTA Mall, No: 1, Jalan PJU 1A/48, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia."
  2. "Firefly embarks on 5-year expansion drive". Firefly. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  3. "Kota Bahru BKK Flight Deferred". Firefly. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  4. "Seletar Airport Prepares for Turboprop Service". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  5. "Singapore 2018: Seletar Airport set for turboprop move - Air & Cosmos - International". Air & Cosmos - International. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  6. "Betong airport runway will be extended, says army chief". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  7. "Three airlines eyeing Betong airport". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  8. "Nok Air in talks with authorities on flights to Betong airport". The Nation (Thailand). 27 September 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  9. "Firefly plans KK hub". Borneo Post Online. 3 March 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  10. "New Kota Bharu to JB Connections | Firefly Airline". Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  11. SiennyLovesDrawing (20 November 2019). "Firefly Airlines Expands Its Network Route Directly Connecting Johor Bahru & Kota Bharu". Medium. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  12. "Fabulous Cats Performs at Senai Airport | Firefly Airline".
  13. "New Kota Bharu to JB Connections | Firefly Airline".
  14. "Fabulous Cats Performs At Senai Airport | Firefly Airline". Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  15. "Firefly Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  16. "MAS inks RM62m deal". Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  17. "Firefly - Get to Know Our Fleet".
  18. "Positioning itself - Carving out its own seat". Archived from the original on 22 May 2011.
  19. Marina Emmunuel. "Firefly to double ATR fleet to fuel expansion". Business Times Malaysia. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  20. "Firefly expands with 737-800". Firefly (Malaysia).
  21. Jeeva. "Firefly plans to expand services and take up 30 B737-800s". The Star (Malaysia).
  22. Firefly to only run turboprop planes Archived 26 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine The Sun Daily
  23. flyfireflyz (16 September 2011). "NEWS: FireFly starts cancelling routes to Sarawak".
  24. "Malaysia's Firefly Eyes Boeing 737-800s as It Takes Jets in 2021". 17 October 2020.
  25. "Firefly reverts to jet operations amid broad restructuring".
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