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Monday March 28, 2011

Firefly identifies new hub users

MD sees need for better air linkages between Senai Airport and the region

SENAI: Firefly is targeting air travellers from the southern region, Singapore, Batam and transit passengers in Sabah and Sarawak as the main users for its southern hub here.

Managing director Datuk Eddy Leong said with Iskandar Malaysia progressing well, the airline expected air travel to pick up in the long run.

“We foresee great potential for growth in the leisure and tourism sectors in Iskandar which, in turn, will require better air linkages between Senai Airport and the region,'' he said on Saturday.

Leong was speaking to local and foreign media at the launch of Firefly's southern hub at Senai Airport by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Abdul Majid.

The airline is placing two 162-seat B737-400 aircraft at the airport, with two daily flights from Johor Baru to Kuching beginning May 19, and to Kota Kinabalu from June 16.

He said Kota Kinabalu could also serve as a gateway to Johor Baru for passengers from Australia, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, Manila and Tokyo by leveraging on MAS' flights between Kota Kinabalu and these cities.

Leong said the Johor Premium Outlet in Kulaijaya near Senai Airport and the upcoming Legoland Theme Park would enhance tourist arrivals to Johor Baru.

“We are starting services from Johor Baru to Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung in the third quarter, and to Bangkok in the fourth quarter of the year,'' said Leong.

He said the places were popular among holiday makers from Johor and Singapore and the airline also wanted to capture tourists from Indonesia seeking treatment at specialist hospitals in Johor Baru.

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