Firefly Airline vs. AirAsia

November 6, 2010 by  
Filed under General

It is interesting to note that FireFly Airlines, the subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, is in competition wth AirAsia. However it cannot be denied that AirAsia is way ahead of Firefly even though Fireflyz is a full service point to point airline with rates almost similar to Air Asia. AirAsia started from a humble beginning of RM1 company and 1 aeroplane to become a RED giant that it is today with Richard Branson of Virgin Group having a share in its long haul AirAsia-X  sector.

Firefly, the plane with a buzz

Firefly, the plane with a buzz

The concept of firefly is to connect together the few neighbouring countries of Malaysia in Asia. Right now, its route are between Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Firefly airline is still growing to add more destinations into its flying list. AirAsia on the other hand is out to conquer the world covering more and more destinations and sectors with each passing day.

Let’s check out in details the differences between the 2 airlines.

Full service? Low Cost?

Firstly, Firefly, the community airline as their tagline suggests is not a complete full service airline but neither a low costs airline either. The airline “IS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLD” as it offers the full service that full service airline like Malaysia airlines offer at the price of a low cost airline like AirAsia because of the type of aircraft(turboprop fleet of ATR72-500s) that they use which means that their cost is much lower. Operational costs, expertise, skills and infrastructure are well based on Malaysia Airlines. Airasia is a low-cost airline (also known as no frills, discount or budget carrier or airline) that generally has lower fares. To make up for revenue lost in decreased ticket prices the airline may charge for extras like food, priority boarding, seat allocating, and baggage which is what AirAsia is all about. It is a carrier that sends a person from 1 airport to another.

AirAsia Plane

AirAsia Plane

A full service airline means that you are taken care of when you pay one fare price and you will be allowed 20kgs of checked in baggage, 7kgs of hand carry luggage, you may choose your desired seat no, and be served soft drinks and snack on board without any additional charges.

Airasia recently came up with the ruling that starting from next year, there will be a fee charged for bags checked in at Check in Counter as they want to encourage people to check in earlier ONLINE to avoid offline check in congestion at airport.

The good point is that means we will have less hassle at airport but the drawback is that it will cost more now to fly if we need to add in this cost, esp. if we are not able to print out the boarding pass ourselves. Firefly Airline is still free to have counter check in .

Would you like to Upsize your Luggage Sir?

For AirAsia, a regular size baggage is 15 kgs, a supersize Medium is 20 kg whilst a supersize Large is 25 kg and a supersize Extra Large is 30 kg. Most of us opt for the 15kgs and if you are on a shopping trip, I recommend you to buy at least 20 kgs and be at ease to know that you will not be required to pay if your bags exceeded the 15kgs weight but is less than 20kgs.

AirAsia Checked in Bggage Rate

AirAsia Checked in Baggage Rate

Things like baby prams/strollers/buggies, wheelchairs, mobility devices and walking frames can be checked-in for free. Sports equipment however, is subject to a sport equipment fee. Check out the table above about AirAsia’s baggage allowances and rates.

As stated above, Frefly airline allows you 20kgs of checked in baggage at no extra charge.

firefly checked in baggage

firefly checked in baggage

Orange or Red?

Firefly airline crew comes decked in bright orange and white uniform while AirAsia crew is out to paint the town red with their bright red uniform of red blouse with tight red skirts with a little slit at the side.


Is it anything like OSIM Chair at all?

If you are looking for OSIM chair type of comfort, then you might as well be flying with Malaysia Airlines though of late, I have seen AirAsia’s long haul flight advert showing comfortable reclining seat.

The cabin within Fireflyz plane is more luxurious though AirAsia is equally on par with their new fleet of planes and black leather seats except for the tight seat space and leg room and certain seat near­­­­­­­ the emergency exit ways are permanently upright and could not be leaned down for more comfort.

Can youspot the difference?

Can youspot the difference?

As such, the value that you get from the “dollar/ringgit malaysia that you pay will be much higher with Firefly airlines compared to AirAsia. In short, you get better service in return for every dollar/ringgit malaysia spent.

Do you want to reach the city faster?

Firefly airline taxies at Subang Skypark Terminal while Air Asia berth at LCCT where there are constantly a high no traffic flow of people arriving and departing. Even Singapore budget terminal cannot beat the people traffic flow at LCCT.

Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport Terminal 3, also known as Subang Skypark Terminal is so much closer to city. LCCT is about 65 to 70 km away from KL city. I compared on Google map the distance to get from LCCT to Central Market, KL city centre. The data showed that we need at least an hour to reach the city. Terminal 3 is only about 26.2km if you use Federal Highway to go to KL city, it is 26.2km and takes only around 28 minutes to reach the city.

Have you twit lately? What is your FACEBOOK ID?

Airasia has a team specially to take care of their online marketing needs and promotions. They are aiming to get 1million fans on their facebook and they are almost there, having over 600k members now at point of writing. In this day and age, if you are not online, not on Facebook, not tweeting, not on youTube, then you are way behind time. Elections have been won and lost because of the usage or non usage of online technology. Check out AirAsia and you will see many videos about them or by them on YouTube. Firefly still has a long way to go if comparing the number of videos posted by AirAsia and them. Online marketing is “THE” thing to do now to get more customers. Having said that, offline marketing is as important too.


Honestly, most of us use AirAsia because the fare is lower than MAS and it allows us to save a few dollars. When things are expensive these days, saving a dollar or 2 means a lot too especially for those middle income earners.

When passengers intend to fly, the first thing we check is the fare rate, then the time schedule before we proceed to make a booking. Where access to instant information is available at the click of a mouse, smart travellers do their own research and go where the value for money is.

Firefly Airline at this point of writing has yet to touch down in Sarawak and Sabah and once they do, I will definitely support them for the value of Ringgit Malaysia that I will be getting. If I need to fly to a destination for a meeting, I don’t want to be stressed in having to worry of my baggage weight limit or many other million issues not taken care of online when I booked earlier. Regardless of how I feel, AirAsia has allowed thousands of people to tour and see the world. Keep it up AirAsia. You have made many people’s wishes come true!

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7 Responses to “Firefly Airline vs. AirAsia”
  1. hello, might be a correction there, firefly flight to kuching depart/land at KLIA, not subang airport. btw, nice article. 🙂

  2. Anson says:

    Interesting 🙂 I will check out firefly price next time

  3. Jennifer says:

    i like firefly airline. i find travelling with airasia too stressful. It’s expensive

  4. Sandy Kang says:


    thanks for the note.


  5. Sandy Kang says:

    hello Anson,

    tq for visiting my website. if it is comfort you are after, i recommend you to fly with Firefly airline. visit them at :


  6. kuE says:

    i fly with klm to jakarta in march, because air asia charges were more. also for this kuching trip on 23 to 26 june 2011, i chose firefly, as air asia’s rates are more too!… ;P

  7. Firefly sux says:

    Now Firefly cancel jet routes like KUL to KCH, JHB to KCH and KUL to BKI without notice! Imagine you booked your ticket several months in advance only to be told (some not even informed) that the flight is cancelled.

    Furthermore, they do not offer replacement flight on MAS but they only refund back your money. If you bought RM9 fare, you only that get pityful amount. Imagine a family of 4 with all travel hotels and arrangements planned to be told that their trip was cancelled. They have to fork out more expensive tickets on AA or MAS.

    When ppl complain on their FB page, they start deleting and banning people off their page.

    Is this Community airline? Pls help spread the word:

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