Malaysia Airlines Group (MAG) LCC subsidiary Firefly could lose up to MYR20 million ($4.9 million) a month after it was forced to stop 20 daily flights to/from Singapore from Dec. 1, 2018 after the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) rejected its move from Changi to Seletar airport.

“The exposure, the revenue lost from the suspension is MYR15 million, so we’re looking at MYR15 million to MYR20 million revenue lost on a monthly basis,” MAG CEO Izham Ismail told The Malaysian Insight. He added that the incident would affect MAG’s overall financial performance as a group.

Firefly had sought for approvals from CAAM as early as October 2018, but the authority protested the implementation of Seletar’s ILS procedures, which it said would hinder the development of tall buildings in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia. In retaliation, Malaysia issued a restricted airspace permanent notice to airmen (NOTAM) over Pasir Gudang that was in place from Jan. 2, 2019.

The Changi slot that Firefly initially operated on has already been reassigned to another airline, forcing Firefly to cancel its service to Singapore and refund passengers.

Following a bilateral meeting on Jan. 8, Singapore has agreed to temporarily suspend its ILS procedures at Seletar, and in return, Malaysia will lift its Pasir Gudang NOTAM.

Firefly CEO Philip See said the LCC has written to Changi Airport Group (CAG) seeking temporary landing slots since there are no ILS facilities in place at Seletar. 

CAG did not respond to ATW by press time.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com