Checks on its website showed that Malindo Air is offering twice daily flights from Subang to Penang, Kota Baru and Johor Baru, competing head on with incumbent Firefly which currently plies on these routes.
Fares for the three destinations include promotional offers from as low as RM69 one-way. Its regular pricing range as displayed on its website is between RM149 and RM169 one-way.
A cursory glance showed that all flights on offer in the first week of operations are sold out.
In comparison, Firefly – the turboprop-operating unit of Malaysia Airlines that has had a monopoly on turboprop operations in Subang airport for the last six years – offers 12 flights a day to its first hub, Penang.
Firefly, which had launched its Everyday Low Fares campaign on Thursday, is offering a promotional fare from as low as RM35 one-way between Subang and Penang. Regular pricing ranges between RM109.95 and RM149.95 one-way.
A source close to Malindo Air told SunBiz that the ATR 72-600 arriving at AIROD Aerospace Technology's base in Subang today, is the first of six turboprops due for delivery by the end of this year from the Lion Air group.
Malindo Air, a joint venture between Indonesia's PT Lion Grup and National Aerospace and Defence Industries Sdn Bhd (Nadi), will take delivery of its second aircraft this month, and one aircraft a month thereafter until September.
Malindo Air is believed to have entered into a leasing arrangement with Lion Air to take over a portion of the deliveries initially intended for the Indonesian group's turboprop arm Wings Air.
In February last year, Lion Air had placed an order for 27 ATR 72-600s, which when all are delivered in 2015 would make its regional subsidiary, Wings Air, the world's largest ATR operator, with a total fleet size of 60 comprising 20 ATR 72-500s and 40 ATR 72-600s.
Wings Air was established in 2002, and predominantly operates regional and rural routes and blends into Lion Air's network as a feeder airline.