Budget airline Firefly will not be able to operate flights to Singapore from Dec 1, 2018 due to “regulatory issues” from Malaysian regulator Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).
At least 13,000 people who made bookings prior to the flight suspension are believed to be affected.
Firefly announced on its website and Facebook that all flights into Singapore will be suspended “until the relevant authorities have cleared remaining matters in relation to the Singapore authority’s plans to move turbo-prop operations from Changi International to Seletar”.
Firefly was scheduled to transfer its operations from Changi Airport to the new Seletar Airport from Dec 1.
The new passenger terminal at Seletar Airport began operations last week, with scheduled turboprop flights operating from December.
Notice to all passengers. Please take note.
The airline wrote: “Firefly has not been provided any definitive timeline by the authorities for the delay. Upon final approval from the authorities, Firefly will then resume its flights into Singapore.”
“In the meantime, arrangements are being made for all affected passengers. We apologize to passengers for the inconvenience caused.”
CAAM and CAAS response
CAAM said on Friday (Nov 23) they were “never consulted on the timeline to move scheduled turboprop operations to Seletar Airport starting Dec 1, 2018.”
It added, for the “purposes of Firefly’s safe operations into Seletar Airport, there are indeed regulatory issues that need to be resolved between the civil aviation authorities of both countries”.
According to the statement, the regulatory issues included “outstanding airspace issues to be discussed, particularly on reviewing the terms and conditions of delegation of Malaysia’s airspace to Singapore for the provision of Air Traffic Services.”
In response to CAAM’s statement, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said today (Nov 24) that it had informed the Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport and Firefly in 2014 about the relocation of turboprop flights from Changi Airport to Seletar Airport, and that Firefly had formally agreed in July 2018 to this relocation.
“However, on Nov 14, 2018, Firefly informed CAG that it was unable to obtain approval from its regulator, CAAM (Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia), to operate into Seletar Airport,” CAAS statement said.
“Singapore had already conveyed to Malaysia that we stand ready to work with them on airspace issues in the interest of international civil aviation and bilateral cooperation,” it added.
“These are however not related to the shift of Firefly’s operations at Seletar Airport.”
If you are one of the thousands affected by the suspension, please contact Firefly’s call center at +603 7845 4543.
Alternatively, you may e-mail email@example.com.