It’s a long road to recovery for wounded Tiger Airways

THERE was some good news for budget carrier Tiger Airways this week; the Australian authorities have agreed to allow it to operate up to 32 sectors daily, up from the earlier 22. That should put excess capacity to some good use.

But it remains a long road to recovery for the wounded Tiger which, in June this year, was suspended for breaching safety. The carrier resumed limited flights six weeks after.

The suspension has cost the carrier dearly as it reported a second quarter loss of S$50 million (US$39 million). Even the Singapore operations are in the red. The full-year result is not expected to improve substantially, even with the added approval for joint-venture SEAir to fly domestic routes in the Philippines.

While Tiger addresses the damage to its reputation, rivals Qantas and Virgin Australia have gained new ground in Australia. In Asia, Tiger already faces stiff competition from Jetstar and AirAsia. New carriers such as Hong Kong-based Peach and AirAsia’s joint-venture with Thai Airways International will add to the competition.

Perhaps there is a ray of hope yet if parent Singapore Airlines (SIA) can manage to oversee sibling co-operation instead of rivalry when Scoot commences operations. But by all indications thus far, SIA’s new subsidiary which is expected to commence operations next year to destinations in China and Australasia, is only too keen to blaze its own trail. For a start, both carriers will be operating from different terminals out of Singapore Changi Airport.


About David Leo
David Leo has more than 30 years of aviation experience, having served in senior management in one of the world's best airlines and airports. He continues to maintain a keen interest in the business, writes freelance and provides consultancy services in the field.

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