SINGAPORE: The first commercial flights landed at and departed Seletar Airport on Monday (Jun 13) morning since flights were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flight FY3124 by Malaysian airline Firefly departed from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Malaysia, and arrived with 59 passengers on board around 8.50am.
Barely an hour later, the same plane departed as flight FY3125, taking off for Subang at 9.41am.
PREPARATIONS, BENEFITS FOR PASSENGERS
To prepare for the resumption of scheduled flights, Changi Airport Group (CAG), which manages Seletar Airport, conducted “multiple operational trials and systems tests” with Seletar’s airport partners, said CAG and Firefly in a joint press release.
Airport staff participated in “refresher training sessions and briefings on operational and safety requirements” to prepare them to serve customers.
Taxi companies were also engaged by CAG to raise awareness of Firefly’s resumption of flights. There will be free coffee and tea for taxi drivers who make the trip to Seletar Airport in June.
Firefly passengers travelling to and from Seletar Airport will get a 20kg complimentary baggage allowance, fast check-in, and boarding and complimentary in-flight refreshments on board, added CAG and Firefly.
"With Firefly flights back, travellers can once against enjoy convenient connections between Seletar Airport and Kuala Lumpur," said Mr Tan Lye Teck, executive vice president of airport management at CAG.
"We look forward to continuing our support of Firefly's operations in Singapore, and are working closely with our airport partners on the resumption of flights to provide a smooth and seamless experience for passengers."
TWO RETURN FLIGHTS A DAY
With the resumption of scheduled flights, Firefly will now operate two return flights a day between Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang and Seletar Airport.
Subang-Singapore is Firefly's first international route to resume since the pandemic, noted the airline’s chief executive officer Philip See.
"You know why people love both airports? Because it's such a small airport, such a convenient airport. Really, door to door, three hours easily. And that's such a key proposition for corporates and business passengers, for our leisure passengers who value time so much," he said.
Prior to the pandemic, Firefly operated six flights a day in each direction.
Firefly’s maiden flight to Seletar was in April 2019. In March 2020, flights were suspended due to the pandemic.
Landing at Seletar Airport on Monday on the first flight, a passenger who only wanted to be known as Shannon said it was more convenient for him to fly out of Subang compared to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
“The distance to get to Subang is much shorter. I think (it’s) about 20 minutes as opposed to an hour,” the 33-year-old consultant told reporters after reaching the departure hall.
“Besides that, in the airport itself, it’s a lot more convenient because it's a small airport. I can get there 30 minutes before (my flight), as opposed to an hour or more.”
Another passenger, Julie Ng, a Malaysian who has been working in Singapore for about 12 years, said she used to fly home on Firefly flights almost weekly before the pandemic to visit her parents.
Like Shannon, Ms Ng, a senior manager in the healthcare sector, said the airport in Subang was more convenient than KLIA to her residence in Malaysia. She is “very glad” that Firefly flights have resumed.