Firefly FY3662 Inaugural Flight from Penang to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 (26 March 2023)
Firefly FY3662 is the very first Firefly Boeing 737-800 flight from Penang to Singapore, launched on Sunday, 26 March 2023. I headed up to Penang to fly back to Singapore on the Firefly FY3662 Inaugural Flight to mark this new international route by Firefly’s Boeing 737-800, which provides a new budget option to fly between Penang and Singapore.
Penang International Airport
Penang International Airport is Firefly’s Boeing 737-800 hub, operating on longer distance routes than the usual ATR 72 turboprops.
Heading into Penang International Airport’s passenger terminal.
The departure board shows the new Firefly FY3662 to Singapore, which I’m booked on.
Queuing up for check-in at the manned counters. International flights don’t seem to be eligible for online or kiosk check-in.
Surprisingly, there was no celebration of this inaugural Firefly Boeing 737-800 flight to Singapore at the check-in counters.
The queue was slow-moving with only 2 out of 3 check-in counters opened.
The sign for the very first Firefly Boeing 737-800 flight to Singapore.
The rest of the check-in area was surprisingly quite empty as well for a Sunday.
My boarding pass for the inaugural Firefly FY3662 flight from Penang to Singapore by Boeing 737-800. I was pleased to be assigned an emergency exit row seat at the check-in desk at no charge.
Immigration & Security Screening
Heading for immigration and security screening.
My departure gate, Gate A1A, is on the left after security screening.
Heading into Gate A1A with no fanfare, like just another flight departing from Penang. Boarding passes are checked and torn at the entrance of the gate hold room.
I’m left with the big piece of boarding pass.
The interior of Gate A1A’s holding room.
Queues near the aerobridge are arranged according to zones.
9M-MLF would be operating on the inaugural Firefly FY3662 flight from Penang to Singapore, formerly operating with Malaysia Airlines as the dreaded ML-series.
Boarding passes were visually checked again prior to boarding through the zonal queues.
Heading down the aerobridge.
Boarding the very first Firefly flight from Penang to Singapore.
Firefly Boeing 737-800
The interior of Firefly’s Boeing 737-800.
Beware of Row 12 where there is a missing window by the window seats.
My window seat on the emergency exit row at Seat 17A.
The generous legroom available on the emergency exit row.
The channel and volume controls for the Malaysia Airlines drop-down IFE screen and radio is still found on the armrests.
Individual air-conditioning vents are available.
The additional responsibility that comes with sitting at the emergency exit row is to open the door during an emergency. A briefing was conducted by a stewardess after all passengers were on board.
The window shade is also pulled up from the bottom, with the emergency opening mechanism on board.
The safety card of Firefly’s Boeing 737-800.
The Firefly on-board menu is found in the seat pocket.
A merchandise menu is also placed in the seat pocket for souvenir shopping.
Looking out to Penang International Airport with a Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Boeing 737-8) in the background.
The DEF seats of the emergency exit rows were empty upon departure.
The flight was surprisingly not very full for an inaugural flight and even a Sunday flight. I’d have expected that the flight will be full for being a Sunday flight, if not an inaugural flight with additional Firefly staff and media on board, but it felt like just another regular routine turnaround flight. The welcome announcement also did not acknowledge that this was the first Firefly flight from Penang to Singapore.
Pushing back from the gate.
It was a short taxi to the runway which I appreciate, especially with Changi Airport’s long taxi to the new Runway 3.
Turning onto Runway 04.
Taking off from Runway 04.
My Firefly FY3662 Inaugural Flight departed from Penang at 9.59am – 1 minute early.
Making a u-turn before Penang Bridge with the northerly take-off.
Looking back at the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site from Firefly’s Boeing 737-800.
The clean toilet on board. Extra points to Firefly for having paper towels in the toilet as compared with just regular tissues.
It was not a very full inaugural flight with spots of seats and even a few empty rows at the rear of the aircraft.
Putting my tray table down in anticipation of my pre-booked brunch.
The tray table can be extended towards me with the large legroom at the emergency exit to close up the gap.
Flying past the Titiwangsa Mountains.
I ordered a Junior Meal of Chicken Sausages with Scrambled Egg & Hashbrown and a Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce/Nasi Himpit, which came in 2 paper bags.
My 2 meals for this mid-morning flight. Weird to have a Junior Meal as an adult, but it was the western breakfast option. Notably, Firefly has switched to a paper-based box from the previous usual casseroles.
Junior Meal (Chicken Sausages with Scrambled Egg & Hashbrown)
My Junior Meal actually has more food than a regular “adult” meal, and also costed more at RM15 (pre-booked price). The Junior Meal consists of Chicken Sausages with Scrambled Egg & Hashbrown, a pack of mini Oreos, and a box of Ribena.
The Chicken Sausages with Scrambled Egg & Hashbrown looked plain, but it was surprisingly nicely seasoned. It’s been some time since I had airplane breakfast food, so this was comforting. The hashbrown was soggy, but that was to be expected for airplane deep-fried food.
Also, I’m happy to report that Firefly’s scrambled eggs were yellow, as compared to Singapore Airlines’ scrambled eggs which was grey.
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce/Nasi Himpit
My second breakfast was more of a snack of Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce/Nasi Himpit which costs RM10.90 (pre-booked price). There were 3 pieces of Chicken Satay and 2 cubes of Nasi Himpit in the serving.
The Chicken Satay was succulent and juicy, with proper chicken chunks on the skewer, meatier than that from a Malaysian roadside hawker stall (which is already very good). I have not tried Malaysia Airlines’ Chicken Satay yet, but I wonder if it is the same. The satay sauce was also very chunky with a generous mix of peanuts.
While I have mentioned before that Singapore Airlines’ Signature Chicken Satay was one of the best satays I have eaten in my life, Firefly now ascends past that rank.
11/10 will recommend.
I’m very satisfied with Firefly’s catering this morning. Seems that Malaysia budget airlines are home to probably the best airline caterings in the world.
The merchandise cart came around after the meal service. Aside from typical corporate merchandise and collectibles, Firefly also sells packets of peanuts as merch, now that complimentary peanuts aren’t served on Boeing 737-800 flights with proper hot meals on sale instead. 1 set of 30 packets of peanuts cost RM20.
I bought 2 sets.
My duty-free shopping today doesn’t consist of alcohol, but a side pairing that goes beside a glass of alcohol.
Peanuts are packed in sets of 10, with 3 sets in a RM20 paper bag. This divides into 66 sen per packet of peanuts.
I also bought myself a Firefly keychain for RM8 since it was out of stock on my previous Firefly flights, and I finally could get 1 on the inaugural Penang to Singapore flight.
Flying past Pengerang.
Making a u-turn above Sungai Lebam.
Descending into Changi Airport with a view of Pulau Tekong.
Flying over Changi Beach.
Approaching Runway 20R.
Singapore Changi Airport
My Firefly FY3662 Inaugural Flight touched down at Singapore Changi Airport at 11.09am – 31 minutes early.
Welcome Firefly to Changi Airport!
The landing announcement by the stewardess finally acknowledged that this was the first flight to Singapore, and hoped that it was memorable to fly with Firefly again.
Well, the Chicken Satay certainly was.
There was a bit of taxi to head opposite to Terminal 2, but not as bad as if we had landed on Runway 20L instead.
Heading on South Cross.
Crossing South Cross with a view of the iconic Changi Airport control tower and JEWEL from above Airport Boulevard.
Changi Airport Terminal 2
Turning left to Terminal 2.
Turning into Gate F52.
Parked beside a Singapore Airlines Airbus A350.
Disembarking from the Firefly Boeing 737-800 in Singapore for the first time.
Heading up the aerobridge.
Thanks 9M-MLF for this inaugural flight.
Heading up to the transit area.
Changi Airport Welcome
Ah, finally some fanfare. Ground staff were lining up beside the exit of the aerobridge to hand out goodie bags – 1 from Firefly and 1 from the Singapore Tourism Board.
There were also some staff and media taking photos at the arrival gate area.
Heading on the travellator to head to arrivals.
Looks like there will be a celebration for the Firefly inaugural flight back to Penang by FY3663.
I wonder why Penang International Airport, Malaysia Airports (MAHB), and Firefly did not celebrate or even simply announce FY3662 as the inaugural flight from Penang to Singapore, but the “celebration” is done for the second sector (turnaround) at Singapore Changi Airport instead.
The departure gate for return leg as FY3663 was not opened yet.
Firefly Goodie Bag
Inside the Firefly goodie bag was a brochure of their route map and fare types, a Firefly keychain (ouch, I just wasted RM8 on board), a Merli the Merlion plush toy, and a Changi Airport Kueh keychain.
STB Goodie Bag
Inside the STB goodie bag was a notebook, luggage tag, pen, and foldable umbrella.
Heading down for arrival immigration.
Baggage reclaim for the inaugural Firefly FY3662 flight from Penang was at Row 38.
Heading out through customs with no bags to retrieve.
Interestingly, Malaysia Airlines has not shifted back to Terminal 2, with their operations still at Terminal 1. Firefly operates in Terminal 2 which is still predominantly serving Singapore Airlines’ flights.
Connection to MRT
Terminal 2 is still not fully renovated yet, so there’s a bit of a detour to get to the MRT station.
Terminal 2 North is still under renovation, so no throughfare is available at the Arrival Hall to the MRT station. Head up to the Departure Hall.
There is a path through hoardings on the departures level to the MRT station.
Ignore the wayfinding signs to the lifts and turn right instead.
There is a gap to the MRT station escalators here.
Head down the escalators to the MRT station.
Changi Airport MRT Station
From here, I headed home by MRT.
Firefly is the newest option to fly between Penang and Singapore with 2 pairs of flights daily. I’m quite surprised that there was no celebration mood or even an indication of this inaugural flight from Firefly at their Boeing 737-800 hub in Penang or even on-board, which is actually a big achievement for Firefly for adding yet another international destination to their list.
What was even more surprising was that it was not a full flight on a Sunday, when many people are heading back to Singapore at the end of the weekend, whether flying back home or flying from home. I wonder if people knew about this new flight? Because it felt like even Firefly didn’t know.
These 2 new daily flights will add more convenience for me in terms of schedule and fares, and I hope that Firefly will be proud of their new route.