Saturday May 14, 2011
FireFly-Melaka Air will boost state as tourist destination
MALACCA: The Batu Berendam International airport here is poised to get a stimulus with a new airline interested in turning the facility into its air transportation hub.
Servicing seven air routes between Thailand, Indonesia and local sectors, the FireFly-Melaka Air is expected to make its maiden flight on Nov 11, 2011, symbolising the favourite numbers for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak - (11/11/11).
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said NN Flyers, a aviation company based in Kuala Lumpur who holds an equity of 90% in the company will collaborate with state-owned agency, Yayasan Melaka, who owns a 10% share in the airlines.
Affordable air travel: Budget carriers like Firefly is making transit time faster for busy people.
“NNFlyers will lease the ATR-72 aircraft from MAS affiliate FireFly with the cost of USD190,000 where the collaboration will be known as Firefly-Melaka Air,” he said after chairing the weekly Exco meeting here on Wednesday.
Mohd Ali added that the airlines will serve Medan, Pekan Baru, Padang and Pelembang in Indonesia, Hatyai in Thailand while Penang and Kota Baru are the two local routes.
The frequency of flights are between three to four times in a week while the ticket prices are expected to be announced later.
Mohd Ali said he had calculated the maintenance of each aircraft at RM800,000 including the salaries of crew members of the new airline.
“We anticipate the revenue of the new airline to be lucrative considering that Malacca is a top tourist destination,” he said.
He also noted that two other airlines Wings Air and Riau Airlines that have landing rights at the airport here would not be affected by the debut of the new service.
The airt transporation providers currently serves Pekan Baru-Malacca-Pekan Baru with frequencies of three flights, a week.
On a separate matter, Mohd Ali announced that foreigners will be granted to procure properties here that cost more than RM200,000 but with the condition that they have to fork out a levy of 2%.
He said the new ruling will take effect immediately where the revenue collected from such levies would be used to aid the needy in the state.
Mohd Ali added that the collection will be channelled to state Public Aid Fund where the fund would be wisely utilised to aid the locals who are in need of financial assistances.
He said the state hoped to yield some type of revenue due from the property boom in the state, especially with the overwhelming demand from foreigners, especially Singaporeans who are keen to own properties here.