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Malaysian budget carrier Firefly to resume flights to Singapore on Apr 21

Malaysian budget carrier Firefly to resume flights to Singapore on Apr 21

File photo of a Firefly plane (Photo: Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian budget carrier Firefly will resume flights to Singapore on Apr 21, operating out of Seletar Airport, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Monday (Apr 8).

Meanwhile, Malindo Air, another Malaysian carrier, is also keen to fly to Seletar Airport and has approached airport authorities in Singapore for approval, he added.

The announcements come as Singapore and Malaysia on Monday agreed to work together to develop GPS-based instrument approach procedures for Seletar Airport, replacing the recently withdrawn Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, Mr Loke expressed hope that there will be more air connectivity between both countries in future.

“I think this is so good for our cooperation and the way forward,” he said.

Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan with Malaysian counterpart Anthony Loke at press conference on Apr 8, 2019. (Photo: Amir Yusof)

On his part, Mr Khaw said: “Both minister Loke and myself are looking forward to Firefly’s commencement of services at Seletar Airport."

READ: Singapore, Malaysia to develop GPS-based instrument approach procedures for Seletar Airport to replace ILS

READ: Singapore, Malaysia airspace dispute: What we know and timeline

Firefly suspended its flights to Singapore in December last year, after it was unable to obtain approval from Malaysia’s aviation regulator to move its operations from Changi Airport to Seletar Airport.

Changi Airport Group had earlier announced the move of turbo-prop operations to Seletar in a bid to optimise the use of resources at Changi. 

Before the suspension, Firefly offered 20 daily flights between Singapore and Subang, Ipoh and Kuantan.

READ: Firefly to lose up to RM20m a month over Seletar suspension

Singapore provides air traffic services over parts of southern peninsular Malaysia that is within the Kuala Lumpur Flight Information Region. This was an arrangement approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 1973. 

In December, Malaysia said it wanted to reclaim its "delegated airspace" in southern Johor, citing concerns over sovereignty and national interest.

It also raised concerns about the ILS procedures for Seletar Airport, saying that the flight path would impact developments and shipping operations at Johor's Pasir Gudang.

Singapore, in response, said that the ILS had simply put on paper the existing flight paths, making safety rules clearer and more transparent.

On Friday, Singapore withdrew the ILS procedures for Seletar Airport while Malaysia indefinitely suspended its permanent restricted area over Pasir Gudang.

A high-level committee has also been set up to review the existing airspace arrangement approved by ICAO, both transport ministers announced on Monday.

Source: CNA/aw(aj)


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