After a four-month suspension because of a dispute between Malaysia and Singapore, Malaysia LCC Firefly has resumed scheduled service between the two countries, with the first flight landing at Singapore’s Seletar Airport on April 21.

This also marked the first scheduled operation of Seletar’s new terminal since its opening in November.

Firefly has restarted with twice-daily ATR 72-500 flights between Kuala Lumpur-Subang and Seletar through April 28. From April 29, frequency will increase to 6X daily.  

“Firefly will study the resumption of flights from Kuantan, Ipoh and potentially Malacca. As the airline seeks to mount seasonal service in less served markets around Peninsular Malaysia, it will also ramp up its chartered services,” Malaysian Minister of Transport Anthony Loke said.

Malaysia and Singapore were embroiled in an airspace dispute when Malaysia opposed Seletar’s ILS procedures, which were set up by Singapore to facilitate Firefly’s move from Changi to Seletar. The two ministries later agreed to establish a ‘”GPS-based ILS” procedure as a compromise.

Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said he would meet with Loke to roll out the new procedure, which Loke said would be ready in “six to 12 months’ time.”

Meanwhile, Firefly is studying the installation of new ILS instruments on its fleet of 12 ATR 72-500s.

“Many ATR operators around the world already use B-RNAV and or performance based navigation (PBN) GPS-based navigation. ATR is ready to assist Firefly with implementation of a new navigation system,” ATR head of Asia Pacific, Christophe Potocki said.

“PBN is proving very popular with airlines and airports because there is no additional equipment required at the airport to operate on IFR landing and take-offs. This is also why PBN is proving very popular with airlines that need to operate on IFR rules to remote air-fields with limited ground infrastructure.”

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com