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From My Desk : Bye bye Firefly


(Pardon the long hiatus. Now I am back again. Hi people!)

One of the disadvantages of having to look at foreign newspapers is missing out on the current news in Malaysia itself. Despite that, every now and then, I will have the chance of reading one or two stories from local newspapers. And so, I had the opportunity to glimpse at the local news on Tuesday. The article was short but it was devastating.

It was the news regarding MAS slashing Firefly operations, following the recent move by AirAsia. The turbo prop unit of MAS will fly in fewer routes with the Johor-Bandung route already being halted.

Why was I worried? Of course I am worried. As consumers, we are supposed to be worried once monopoly is detected.

You see, it was a happy day when I learnt about the presence another budget airline in Malaysia. It was nice to know that at least Malaysian have another option apart from just one airline. The presence of competitors in the market have many benefits including competitive prices and better service, among others. Although we can hardly say this is a win-win situation, at least the consumers can breathe easy knowing that there is a chance of discounts or rebates.

Monopoly gives an edge to a company to set terms to their advantange. A company can set its own price at its own term, knowing that they will win in the end as they control the market (hint: local cable service in Malaysia). Consumers will have to resort using the company's service whether they like it or not. Of course consumers will make noises but in the end, these people will succumb to temptation.

There was a time when MAS only completed with AirAsia. Yes, everybody can fly then but isn't it nicer to have another company offering similar service? After all, it is a common knowledge that nearly half of the people in Malaysia earn less than MYR 3k (including Yours Truly).

Firefly became THAT other budget airline. But the happiness didn't last long. Its operations will soon become restricted, the way I see it.

By December 2012, Firefly will cease flying out from KLIA, citing The Sun. Will this mean that consumers will no longer be able to fly out to Sabah/ Sarawak via Firefly? No confirmation on that yet.

The day Firefly started its operation was one of the days that I celebrated. However, this recent move from MAS meant that instead of moving forward (ending monopoly, creating more competition bla bla), the airline industry is back to square one.

Well, this is it. The market changes and everything turned. What can I do now is just pray that the industry is not going to as bad as I predicted.


about the author

Siti Aishah Abdul Aziz

the one who loses her rose-tinted glasses, with the tendency to borrow others thinking caps. 
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