AirAsia is ready to hand over rural air services back to Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) following the later’s launch of community airline Firefly, the New Straits Times reported, citing AirAsia chief executive officer Tony Fernandes.
Fernandes said AirAsia has initiated discussions with the Transport Ministry regarding the possibility of letting Firefly serve the rural areas in East Malaysia.
“As a community airline that operates with turboprop aircraft, Firefly should expand its services to East Malaysia,” said Fernandes.
“AirAsia is all about focus and our business model is such that we prefer to operate on minimal types of aricraft. That’s why we are recommending that Firefly take over the rural air services,” he added.
Last year, the budget carrier took over all domestic non-trunk routes from MAS, including the loss-making routes in East Malaysia, under a government-backed routes rationalization.