15 June 2022
Malaysia’s Firefly has resumed flights to Singapore’s Seletar Airport, offering some passengers a canny alternative to using Changi.
Passenger flights to and from Singapore’s second airport have resumed this week. Malaysia Airlines’ low-cost offshoot FireFly recommenced flights to Singapore’s Seletar Airport on Monday, June 13. FireFly is back flying between Seletar and Kuala Lumpur’s alternative airport, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang twice a day in each direction.
Firefly has returned to Seletar Airport
Sleepy Seletar Airport has a long history, having handled its first passenger plane, a Dutch East Indies Airways aircraft from Jakarta with eight passengers onboard, 82 years ago. The airport served as a military base during WWII but more recently was left in the dust by the juggernaut that is Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN).
Despite being overshadowed, Seletar Airport has maintained a role as Singapore’s business and general aviation civil airport servicing international aircraft charters, private flights, training flights, and aircraft coming for maintenance, repair, and overhaul.
Two return flights a day between Subang and Seletar
In 2018, Seletar Airport opened a new two-story passenger terminal.
The following year, Firefly arrived with three return ATR 72-500 turboprop flights a day from Subang. With COVID-19 just around the corner, that was a relatively short-lived affair. Now Firefly is back with their ATRs. Twice a day the 72-seat planes will depart Subang Airport (SZB) for the 80-minute hop down to Seletar Airport (XSP). After around 40 minutes on the ground, the planes turn around to operate the return flights back to Kuala Lumpur’s second airport.
“With the opening of Malaysia’s border, Firefly is glad to reconnect communities within Malaysia and Singapore whether for business, leisure or with loved ones,” says Firefly Chief Executive Officer, Philip See.
“As the Ministry of Tourism & Culture targets attracting two million international tourists to Malaysia this year, Firefly sees this as a perfect time to reinstate and play the role of connecting the communities within both countries.”
A handy alternative to the big airports
Subang Airport, which served as the Malaysian capital’s primary airport until the glitzy Kuala Lumpur International Airport (often referred to as KLIA) opened in 1998, has the advantage of being far closer to KL’s city center than the distant KLIA. Both Subang and Seletar are overshadowed by their bigger hometown rivals, but both offer certain advantages (including speed of passing through) that their bigger competitors cannot match..
Meanwhile, it’s been a newsworthy week for Seletar Airport. On Tuesday, Simple Flying’s Gaurav Joshi reported IndiGo’s first cargo-only aircraft, an Airbus A321P2F (Passenger To Freighter), was spotted at the airport. The jet (which is registered as 9H-AMQ) is parked among other aircraft at Seletar before an anticipated delivery date to IndiGo sometime in August.
Singapore’s Changi Airport can handle nearly 70 million passengers in a good year. Seletar’s ambitions are more modest. With an annual capacity of just 700,00 passengers (or 1% of Changi’s numbers), Seletar will never seriously challenge Changi, but those FireFly flights to and from Kuala Lumpur sure are a handy card for locals to have up their sleeve.
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