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  Volume: XXIV, Issue No. 19 May 16-31, 2015  
  MAS orders 36 ATR 72-600s for regional subsidiaries
  Untitled Document
-A Monitor Report
Kuala Lumpur : Malaysia Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR for 36 new ATR 72-600 aircraft worth MYR3 billion (US$980 million).
The aircraft are part of expansion plans for Malaysia Air-lines' regional subsidiaries Firefly and MA Swings. Firefly will take 20 of the new aircraft, and MASwings the remaining 16.
Firefly operates a fleet of 12 ATR 72-500s, while MASwings operates 10 similar aircraft. The enhanced ATR 72-600s are scheduled for phased delivery from the end of the 2013 second quarter.
Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said Firefly is expected to grow rapidly over the next five years due to a surge in trade movements on domestic routes such as Johor, Penang, Selangor, and Kota Bharu. He said the additional aircraft will be used to expand Firefly's network.
MASwings will use the aircraft to boost feeder traffic into the Kuching and Kota Kinabalu hubs for onward connectivity to Malaysia Airlines.
Launched in April 2007, Firefly operates out of Penang and Subang, connecting secondary destinations in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand as well as Singapore. MASwings was launched in October the same year and operates commuter services in Sarawak and Sabah (Malay-sian Borneo), as well as linking those two states to the mainland.
Firefly CEO Ignatius Ong said the aircraft's technological dynamics and economics fitted the airline's short-hops network.
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