Thursday, 4 May 2017

(The Star) Firefly optimistic of achieving passenger target for this year

GEORGE TOWN: Firefly remains optimistic of achieving the passenger target of 1.25 million for 2017 despite lower demand and increased operational costs.

Chief executive officer Ignatius Ong said the increase in operational costs on the back of a softer ringgit had hit the group badly.

But, Firefly has been practising zero wastage measures to cope with rising costs.

The airline cut capacity by six aircraft last year to 12 at present and has also stopped direct flights to Koh Samui, Krabi and Medan from Penang since end-2016.

“We recorded 500,000 passengers from January to April this year and if the trend continues with 100,000 passenger monthly, then we are in line to hit our target by year-end,” he told reporters during the Media Mingle Programme here yesterday.

He said the measures in place had resulted in the load factor increasing to about 70% compared with only about 60% last year.

“We are encouraged by the fact that Firefly achieved a 92% on time performance rating from January to April this year, which makes us a better choice, when compared to other airlines,” he added. – Bernama