Malaysian Airline System (MAS) is planning a new regional airline named Sapphire, which will use Boeing 737 aircraft now operated by its Firefly unit.

After Sapphire is established, Firefly will be branded as a turboprop operator, said an MAS spokesman.

"This is the tentative plan that MAS has drawn up. As the project is still in its early stages, MAS is not prepared to disclose details such as when Sapphire will be established and Sapphire's management structure."

Local media reported that the Firefly management team will manage the Sapphire and Firefly brands. Firefly could not be reached for comment.

Firefly operates 10 ATR 72-500 turboprops, data in ACAS shows. The carrier has five ATR 72-500 turboprops on order and an additional five ATR 72-500 turboprops on option. Firefly also owns two Boeing 737-400 aircraft and six Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news