Lower demand forces Malaysia’s Firefly Airlines to lower passenger target for 2017

Published on : Friday, January 20, 2017

Firefly AirlinesDue to lower demand and increased operational costs on the back of a softer ringgit, Malaysia’s Firefly Airlines has lowered the passenger target for 2017 to 1.6 million from 1.7 million last year.


Although the ringgit’s depreciation was good in attracting foreign customers into Malaysia, it also needed to allow Malaysians to travel abroad to places as Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, Chief Executive Officer Ignatius Ong said.


“The market has to work both ways. It is not cheap for families to go on holiday to neighbouring countries.


“Furthermore, we have experienced a 30 per cent increase in our overall costs, which has affected some of our transactions denominated in the US dollar,” he added.


He said the company has already cut capacity by six aircraft last year to a total of 12 as the load factor was only reaching about 60 per cent.


“When we see an increase in demand of 70 to 75 per cent in our load factor, we may then press one or two more aircraft into operation,” he added.


Firely is Malaysia’s premium short-haul airline which began operations in April 2007.


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