Tiger Airways Australia faces uphill battle

TIGER Airways’ operations in Australia could be facing a prolonged period on the sidelines, as the country’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) today filed an application in federal court seeking to extend the carrier’s suspension period until July 31.

CASA grounded Tiger Airways Australia for five working days last Saturday, the first time in Australia’s aviation history that an airline’s entire fleet has been beached.

Travel plans of an estimated 35,000 passengers have been disrupted so far, and the airline has decided to refund passengers holding flight bookings from July 6-31. Tiger has estimated that it stands to lose A$1.5 million (US$1.6 million) a week as a result of the suspension.

In a statement released by the beleaguered airline, Tiger said that it was now working closely with the CASA to establish a road map to resume services as quickly as possible.

Tiger also announced that its Australia CEO, Crawford Rix, would be replaced by Tony Davis, the group president and CEO of the airline’s parent company, Tiger Holdings Ltd, at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said in a statement to TTG Asia e-daily that it had ‘”not found any cause for concern over Tiger’s ability to operate flights in a safe manner”, and hence was not taking any action against the airline’s Singapore operations.

According to Tiger Holdings’ annual report, Tiger Airways Australia accounted for 43 per cent of the group’s total turnover last year.

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