Firefly resumes flights to Seletar after five-month hiatus


SINGAPORE: Malaysian budget carrier Firefly has resumed flights to the Seletar airport here after a five-month break due to an airspace dispute between Malaysia and Singapore.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke, who was on board the inaugural flight on Sunday (April 21), said the resumption of services represents a significant milestone in enhancing bilateral cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore.

"After a series of engagements and deliberations between both countries, Malaysia and Singapore were able to achieve some agreements on bilateral relations, especially on airspace issues.

"It has resulted in a win-win situation today, with Firefly granted approval to fly into Seletar Airport," he said at a joint press conference with his Singaporean counterpart Khaw Boon Wan.

Firefly had suspended all of its flights to Singapore since Dec 1 last year, saying its services would resume once the relevant authorities sorted out regulatory issues with regard to its move to Seletar airport.

On Dec 5, 2018, Loke told the Dewan Rakyat that Malaysia would issue a protest note over the operation of the ILS for Seletar airport near its border with Johor.

Loke said Malaysia's objective was to take back the delegated airspace from Singapore in the area concerned in stages.

"Malaysia aims to do this within the timeframe beginning the end of 2019 to 2023.

"With the progress that we have made, I am confident that both countries can reach mutually beneficial solutions and look forward to strengthening our bilateral cooperation in the aviation and tourism sector.

"We agreed that the fundamental principle is to resolve issues of concern in a friendly and constructive manner and work towards amicable solutions," he added.

There will be two Firefly flights per day between the Subang and Seletar airports from April 22 to 28, and it is soon expected to have six daily flights.