ATR 72 with Firefly Airlines (FY) in Malaysia

Firefly Airlines ATR-72



3.9/5 Pros

  • Overall, good ground operations
  • Solid ATR-72 configuration
  • Good network in Malaysia Cons

  • Tight schedule - delays on both legs

During my trip to Malaysia in February 2024, I wanted to try out some travel experiences. The intention thereby was to explore some things, which might be helpful for a longer trip to the fascinating country. One focus was on domestic travel. For that reason, I was flying Firefly Airlines (FY), which is majorly operating intra-Malaysian flights. The typical way of flying with the subsidiary of Malaysian airlines is the turboprop airplane ATR-72, which I for example flew with Air Nostrum as well. Here is my experience, based on a return flight from Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport (SZB) to the Southernmost city on the Malaysian mainland, Johor Bahru (JHB).


Firefly Airlines – Network and Fares

Firefly is majorly operating flights within Malaysia. Two two key hubs are Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport (SBZ) and Penang International Airpor (PEN).  However, they do have international operations as well, e.g. to Thailand (Bangkok BKK, Phuket  HKT) and Singapore. Apart from Singapore Changi (SIN), they also operate the only scheduled flight from Singapore Selatar (XSP). There are also flights to Indonesia.

There are three fare types. The Saver rate includes 7kg carry-on and 10kjg checked baggage. The Basic Rate increases the checked luggage limit to 20kg and a standard seat selection. If you fly on the Flex fare, there are unlimited flight changes, priority services (luggage) and 30kg checked luggage as well as free seat selection, including priority seats. Subang (SBZ) flights also include access to the SkyLounge at that airport. On 737 flights (see below), this fare also includes a hot meal.


Firefly Airlines – The Fleet

FIrefly Airlines (FY) is traditionally operating their flights with ATR-72. The airline is having a fleet of nine airplanes of that model. Recently, Firefly added Boeing 737 services. They are majorly used for international services. At the time of writing, the fleet consists of five planes by the US-American manufacturer, all of them have been transferred from their mother company Malaysian Airlines.


Firefly Airlines – My Flights

I had two flights with Firefly. On 26th February 2024, I flew with them from Subang (SBZ) to Johor Bahru (JHB) on flight FY 1338. The day thereafter, I took their service FY 1338 in the opposite direction. Both flights were operated with their ATR-72 fleet. By chance, the in-fact plane operating both legs was the one with the registration 9M-FYH. The scheduled flight time for both flights was one hour each. I flew on the Flex fare.


Firefly Airlines – At The Airport

Checking in at Subang (SZB) and Johor Bahru (JHB) was rather smooth. In Subang, some passengers delayed the process, majorly due to overweight cheked luggage. The check-in process was friendly and efficient. One interesting fact is that the boarding pass rather looked like a receipt as you receive it in shops. SkyLounge Subang is a landside lounge. While in Subang, there are so many flights that it was easy to check in just when I arrived, the Johor Bahru operations start 90 minutes before departure.

Ground handling was very efficient. Many passengers are on day trips or just travel with carry-on luggage, so that the turnaround times at the airports was very short. My outbound flight had a delay of about one hour, though. In both cases, the boarding process was a bit of chaotic, though. After arrivals, luggage has been delivered very quickly. The priority tag did not seem to have a big effect, but that was also not really necessary, as the volume of hold baggage was low on both flights.


Firefly Airlines ATR 72 – The Cabin

The Firefly Airlines ATR 72 is operated in a typical 2-2 configuration, i.e. with two seats on each side of the aisle. The total capacity is 72 seats, which leads to 18 rows, 1 to 19. Row 13 is missing. As you board the ATR-72 from the rear of the cabin, the preferred seats in the plane are in the rear three rows. Additionally, the very first row in the cabin, next to the emergency window is flagged accordingly. It is the only seat with larger legroom, coming with the negative side that you unboard the plane after all other passengers.

The seat pitch is not overwhelming, but overall pleasing. Most Firefly connections are comparably short, so it is bearable. There are no amenities like WiFi or power outlets on board the plane. The plane was in reasonable condition. Unfortunately, the windows were a bit scratchy, so that I could not take sensible pictures from the flight itself.


Firefly Airlines ATR 72 – Inflight Experience

On both flights, I really enjoyed the service provided by the crew. As I already shared with you in the corresponding Food I Had Onboard posting, there were even small snacks and a bottle of water during the flight.


Firefly Airlines ATR 72 – My View

Flying Firefly Airlines was overall very enjoyable. The ATR-72 is not the most comfortable plane in the aviation business, but it is a sensible choice for the network the airline is operating. The schedule feels a bit of tight, which may risk delays. Thus, I definitely recommend them for short-haul flights.


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