Malaysia Airlines' ATR turboprop operation Firefly has decided to suspend some services, citing the global economic downturn, but it is launching new services on other routes.

Firefly says in a statement that starting tomorrow it will be suspending its services from Penang to Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bahru, Ko Samui and Kuantan.

It says the suspension is temporary but it fails to say when these services will resume.

"These changes are part of a planned network rationalisation in view of the current economic environment," it adds.

While Firefly is suspending some Penang services, it is launching new services out of Kuala Lumpur Subang and has ambitions to serve Singapore from several points in Malaysia.

The airline's CEO, Ed Leong, told Malaysia's Edge newspaper the carrier is speaking to Malaysia's transport ministry about getting traffic rights to serve Singapore from eight points in Malaysia, namely Alor Setar, Ipoh, Kerteh, Kota Bahru, Kuala Lumpur Subang, Kuantan, Malacca and Terengganu.

No airlines currently serve Singapore from these points in Peninsular Malaysia.

Leong also told ATI earlier this month that Firefly will be launching services on the Kuala Lumpur Subang-Alor Setar and Kuala Lumpur Subang-Kuantan routes on 29 March and launching services on the Kuala Lumpur Subang-Phuket and Kuala Lumpur Subang-Langkawi routes on 1 May.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news