Friday, November 14, 2008

Turboprops - Firefly

Firefly took delivery of four ATR 72-212 turboprops a few months ago bringing its aircraft fleet to 7. ATR is a French-Italian effort. This is the first time I am using the latest ATR 72 seater turboprops.Turboprops have come a long way since I first used MAS Fokker 50 in one of the Sabah domestic route 16 years ago. I don't mind as Fokker is reputed to be the safest plane around. Then I took Vietnam Airlines ATR on the Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh route 10 years ago. And the last I used a turboprop was GMG Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 in January '08 in Bangladesh. The Canadian made plane was about 15 years old.

Turboprops use propellers, are slower than jet planes obviously, tight space, smaller overhead bin (can't fit your usual carry-on, noisy and uncomfortable to travel in. But a surprise was in store when I took the Firefly ATR on the Senai - Subang route. Cabin space was spacious, interior was pleasant, seats was upholstered in leather and a cup cake and fruit juice were served to us. The noise was there but so has the jet plane.
My flight was half full. Fellow passengers complained that FireFly has canceled some flights at the last minute leaving passengers stranded having to make alternative arrangements. A friend of mine used it last Sunday morning and the plane took off with just 10 passengers. It is a tough market.


Life for Beginners said...

It is indeed a tough market. Let's just hope being left beind due to cancelled flights is the worst that can happen. :(

worldwindows said...

JB is a small market since KL-Singapore route is liberalised. Even AirAsia has cut the frequency to once daily.