Updated 06-09-2011 @ 11:30 pm: It was a known fact that MAS set up Firefly to provide an alternative to AirAsia and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd previously known as Fly Asian Express Sdn Bhd aka as FAX. Remember in 2006/2007 FAX snatched Rural Air Services (RAS) from MAS during Tun Abdullah Badawi’s administration and received about RM65 million from the government as subsidy. However, in a short span of 8 months or so it dumped seven un-airworthy aircrafts to MAS with a total bill of RM35 millions.
On 12-11-2010 Firefly said in the Star that “it would fly commercial jets for domestic routes and begin with crossover routes, e.g. Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, on Jan 15. Asean will be its next stop”. So it was crystal clear from the decisions of the the new management of MAS consisting of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun (both of AirAsia and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd/FAX), Tan Sri Md Nor MD Yusof, Datuk Azman Yahya and En Mohammed Rashdan Yusoff aka Danny to terminate Firefly services from JB to Kuching and JB to Kota Kinabalu via an email dated 25-8-2011 as published below. We have been indoctrinated by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes that competition is healthy and good for the travelers. Are we witnessing the real Tan Sri Tony Fernandes now?
Perhaps we can now see a bit clearer whether MAS needed AirAsia to survive as made out to be the case in a news portal and msm or the other way around. For The Star full report please read in HERE.
Updated 03-09-20111: First and foremost, may I take this opportunity to send my condolence to the family of the untimely death of the Bernama camera man, Arwah Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, in Somalia yesterday. The world must condemn this senseless killing of an innocent man who was there to do his job.
I have been informed that during the Hari Raya season several full load flights of Firefly have been cancelled at the eleventh hours. The cancellations have caused enormous inconveniences to members of the public, who were on their balik kampung back to see their families like you do. Why cancel full load flights during festive season? Where is the business sense of MAS current management? Even if you want to help your close friend like Tan Sri Tony Fernandes/AirAsia, please don’t do it at the expense of the public. This was not the way to kill FIrefly, indirectly MAS. Surely with all your top financial qualifications and famous credentials under BinaFikir you should know of better ways to skin a cow! Why are you in such a rush to kill Firefly in such a desperate manner? I am sure that Datuk Omar Ong will advise you against such ill thought out decisions.
Below is the e-mail dated 25th August 2011 from MAS HQ to all its agents.
Dear Valued Agent,
Greetings from Firefly!
We regret to inform you we will no longer operate JB – Kuching V V & JB – Kota Kinabalu V V route from September 15 onwards. We don’t advise a re-routing of flights because we don’t want to inconvenience you further. A re-route through a third destination such as KLIA will double the length of your travel time if not more. To minimize disruption to your time, we strongly suggest the solution of a refund.
We apologize for the inconvenience caused and wish to offer you a refund in the form of credit shell. Please allow 8 weeks for the refund to be processed. Due to our network rationalizing exercise, and we’re very sorry that this has inconvenienced you.
We at Firefly are more than obliged to work hand in hand with you on other routes and will do our very best to see the production grow for both our parties.
The above is the email sent out by MAS HQ to its agents on 25th August, 2011. The work of the powerful unseen hands. This must be part of the game plans of the so-called “MAS – AirAsia share swap”, which was shrouded in secrecy. After the signing ceremony of the said share swap between Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes on 8-8-2011, it was immediately announced that Firefly will soon change its business model. Presumably, what the economic genius in Khazanah and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes meant was Firefly will stop competing with other low cost airlines, in particular AirAsia.
Instead of chasing after huge debts owed by Alwafeer Air, in HERE which involved non payment of leasing rentals for three jumbo jets amounting to ten of million RM, En Mohamed Rashdan Yusof, the Khazanah’s representative in MAS management was more interested in how to disrupt and/or stifle Firefly for the benefits of the competitor of MAS. Guess who?
If the stopping of Firefly’s profitable routes to East Malaysia was part of the said secret share swap exercise by YB Nor Mohamad Yacop, the former Minister of Finance II under Tun Abdullah’s administration now Minister in charge of EPU, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and En Mohamed Rashdan Yusof, both of whom are former business partners in BinaFikir Sdn Bhd, then Firefly is as good as dead! The future of MAS is not hard to determine.
The time has come for the rakyat, bloggers and, most of all, the MAS Union to join hands to stop the rot.