Flight Review: Firefly FY2905 from Johor Bahru Senai International Airport to Penang International Airport by Boeing 737-800

Firefly FY2905 Flight from Johor Bahru Senai International Airport to Penang International Airport

Firefly FY2905 is a Boeing 737-800 jet flight from Johor Bahru Senai International Airport to Penang International Airport. Firefly had recently reinstated jet operations based in Penang, and Senai is one of the destinations served by this new jet service.

Senai International Airport

I arrived at Senai International Airport by the Causeway Link AA1 Airport Shuttle Bus from JB Sentral.

Heading to the departure hall to check-in for my flight.

The first cluster of check-in kiosks is for AirAsia only.

I first headed to the sales office to try out FireFly’s check-in kiosks.

Ah, never mind.

Check-in

Heading to the check-in area proper for counter check-in.

Flrefly’s check-in counters are at the end of the row.

The Firefly check-in counters are split by destinations. For my Firefly FY2905, I queued at the Penang counter.

Heading out of the check-in area after a fuss-free check-in since I have no check-in bags.

My boarding pass for my Firefly FY2905 flight from Johor Bahru Senai International Airport to Penang International Airport by Boeing 737-800

Heading into the transit area with a boarding pass check and security screening. It is useful to note that there are no liquids, aerosols and gels (LAG) restrictions for Malaysia domestic flights.

Heading up to the transit area after a fuss-free security screening.

The first part of the transit area is undergoing renovations.

There are central kiosks in the transit area for snacks and drinks, and a foot massage.

Gate 3 is just ahead.

Plenty of seating is available behind Gate 3 beside Burger King.

There are massage chairs similar to those available in klia2 here too.

There are 4 pairs of 3-pin power sockets at the charging station beside this seating area.

At 1.04pm, 9M-MLG arrived from Penang as FY2904, which will form my FY2905 flight to Penang.

FY2904 taxiing to the gate.

Boarding

Heading down the aerobridge.

Boarding Firefly’s Boeing 737-800 for the first time.

Firefly Boeing 737-800

The interior of Firefly’s Boeing 737-800 which formerly operated for Malaysia Airlines.

My seat at 10F for this flight to Penang.

The legroom available on board Firefly’s Boeing 737-800.

I was quite lucky to have the whole row to myself on this flight.

The usual aircon vents and reading lights on a Boeing 737-800.

The view of the aircraft interior from my seat.

There is a disused channel and volume control along with a headphone jack, most likely for previous radio channels and the drop-down television screen.

The food menu is available in the seat pocket. Hot meals, snacks, and drinks are available for purchase once the trolley comes around.

A Firefly merchandise menu was also in the seat pocket.

And of course, the all-important safety card was also in the seat pocket.

Pushing back from the gate.

Taxiing to Runway 34.

Looks like there’s going to be a new sheltered walkway to the remote stands.

Turning on to Runway 34.

Taking off from Senai Airport.

My Firefly FY2905 flight from Johor Bahru Senai International Airport took off at 1.55pm – 10 minutes delayed.

Looking back down around Jalan Kulai-Kota Tinggi.

Continuing to climb to cruising altitude.

I had pre-booked my meals during booking, and the pre-booked meals were served first. The stewardess came around to deliver pre-booked meals in Firefly paper bags.

For this lunchtime flight to Penang, I ordered 2 meals – Nasi Lemak and Kacang Phol. Each pre-booked meal comes with a small bottle of water. Each pre-booked meal costs RM12.72 nett after SST.

As an addition to the meals, I also ordered a can of Nescafe Mocha for RM5.

Kacang Pool

I was quite interested to try the Kacang Pool as anything liquid is quite impressive for airline food.

The Kacang Pool comes with the Kacang Pool of course, along with 2 slices of toast and a fried egg. The portion of Kacang Pool was small, but I guess it’s the limitation of the side paper bowl which is fitted within the standard casserole. As not much liquid was in the paper bowl, the Kacang Pool was full of ingredients. The fried egg, however, looks strangely disproportionate with a lot of egg white seemingly missing. The taste was also rather plasticky.

Nasi Lemak

Many Malaysians may think that Singapore’s Nasi Lemak is green, which is quite hard to find in Singapore, but guess where I finally found green Nasi Lemak? Right here in Malaysia on board Firefly.

The Firefly Nasi Lemak had a strong pandan taste to it which felt a bit strange as the coconut flavour was not as pronounced as the pandan. This was served with a side of chicken rendang in a paper bowl, along with some sambal, ikan bilis, and nuts. The chicken was a bit dry, but the rendang sauce helped to soften it a little. The rendang sauce and sambal also went well with the Nasi Lemak pandan rice, fixing up the strong pandan taste.

The Firefly Nasi Lemak was reasonably good, but AirAsia still wins the in-flight Nasi Lemak contest around ASEAN.

The rear of the aircraft was completely empty. Not much demand on a weekday afternoon flight.

The clean toilet on board Firefly’s Boeing 737-800.

Descending into Penang with a view of Kuala Kurau, Perak.

Penang Island was in sight on a clear day, along with the Penang Strait.

Turning towards Penang International Airport.

Descending into Penang International Airport.

The welcome sight of Penang with Pulau Rimau on the right.

Flying over Jalan Permatang Damar Laut.

My Firefly FY2905 flight landed at Penang International Airport at 2.44pm – 16 minutes early.

Penang International Airport

Braking beside the Penang Air Cargo Complex.

Taxiing off the runway.

Turning back to the passenger terminal.

Turning into Gate B7, the last gate attached to the main terminal building.

Arrived at the gate in good time with a short taxi.

Disembarking from the plane.

Heading up the aerobridge.

In the domestic terminal, since there’s no immigration to clear, the departure area is shared between arriving and departing passengers.

Heading straight out of the terminal to try to catch a departing bus to the city.

Looking back at 9M-MLG.

Follow signs to Baggage Reclaim to exit the domestic transit area.

Heading down the escalator to the arrival hall.

Exit

With no check-in bags to reclaim here, I headed straight out.

From the arrival hall, I headed straight out to the bus stop.

Conclusion

Overall, the new Firefly Boeing 737-800 based in Penang has opened up new domestic routes in Malaysia with a hub based in Penang rather than the traditional Kuala Lumpur.

While the Penang-Kota Kinabalu, Penang-Kuching and Penang-Johor Bahru routes are additions to existing AirAsia routes, these bring about competition between the airlines and provide extra timings for passengers, which is great for the consumer.

The length of the Johor Bahru-Penang flight is also an advantage over competing land modes of transport, as compared to purely a Johor Bahru-Kuala Lumpur or a Kuala Lumpur-Penang, which will also help change the travel patterns of domestic passengers as there is now a viable option to travel further and faster for cheaper.

If fares and schedules remain competitive without frequent delays, I can see Firefly’s new Boeing 737-800 jet operations as a viable travel option for me to Penang in the long run.

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