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TAU-2013-07 - TIGERAIR INTRO
TAU-2014-03-TOP 12 AIRPORTS
TAU-2014-03-TOP 12 ROUTES
Formed and started operations in 2007. Domestic, regional, & international, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
PO Box 82
Singapore 918413, Republic of Singapore
AUSTRALIA (COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA) WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1901, IT COVERS AN AREA OF 7,686,848 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 17.9 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS CANBERRA, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS ENGLISH.
February 2007: Qantas (QAN) scotched rumors that it is contemplating cutting its investment in Singapore-based Jetstar Asia Airways (JSA). (QAN) (CFO) & (JSA), Chairman Peter Gregg said that "(JSA) is, and will continue to be, an important part of the (QAN) Group's diversification strategy." Local press reports have expressed concerns over the airline's future, following a number of operational cancellations and claims regarding pilot (FC) shortages. (QAN)'s rejection of those rumors comes as speculation mounts that (JSA) competitor Tiger Airways (TGR) is looking at launching domestic operations in Australia (as Tiger Australia (TAU)), in conjunction with Perth-based regional Skywest Airlines (SKD). (TGR) (CEO) Tony Davis joined the (SKD) board last year.
Just one day after reporting a thumping profit, (QAN) was brought back to earth, when Singapore's (TGR) unveiled plans to launch Australian domestic services by year end, with 5 new A320s operating as (TAU).
During the announcement, (TGR) President & (CEO) Tony Davis took a cheeky swipe at (QAN), saying his airline (TAU) is ready to "deliver Australians genuine low fares, competing in a market which has returned to a cozy duopoly and seen fares increase."
Australians actually enjoy some of the world's cheapest airfares, with transcontinental fares from A$189/$147 on Jetstar Airways (IMU) or A$219 on (QAN) with full service. But there is a twist. While (QAN) and Virgin Blue (VOZ) serve all major trunk routes, (IMU) connects secondary airports with major cities. (TAU) intends to bring its fares, which are similar to or lower than (IMU)'s, to major trunk routes.
Davis claimed that "Unlike others in this market, we won't be a low-cost carrier (LCC) selling high fares. We'll be low cost and very low fare." (TGR) will launch Singapore - Perth service next month, and has been flying to Darwin for some time. Davis outlined his carrier's plans to federal ministers last week, started the process to obtain an Australian Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) for (TAU), and has filed with Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board. Contrary to most countries, Australia allows 100% foreign-owned airlines to operate domestically if it is in the national interest.
The move by (TGR) has been expected, as (QAN) is the largest shareholder in Singapore-based (JSA), (TGR)'s biggest rival. (TGR)'s major stakeholder is Singapore Airlines (SIA). Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Executive Chairman, Peter Harbison said he "sees (TAU) more focused on a direct attack on the local market, rather than providing support to the Singapore flag carrier (SIA). But (SIA) would not weep over any adverse economic impact on one of its major rivals."
Davis is on the board of Perth-based, regional Skywest Airlines (SKD), but it is not clear what cooperation will evolve between the 2 airlines.
March 2007: Tiger Airways (TGR) will launch 4x-weekly Singapore (SIN) - Perth flights on March 23, becoming daily on May 1.
(TGR) was given the green light by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to proceed with the creation of Tiger Australia (TAU)). (TGR) said the (FIRB) found that "the creation of (TAU) was consistent with the government's foreign investment policy, and did not place any specific conditions on the creation of the new airline." (TAU) now will now work toward securing its Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
(TGR) (CEO) Tony Davis said he was "very encouraged by the support received from so many communities across the country," adding that (TAU) is in the final stages of negotiation with a number of Australian airports for the location of its principal operating base. Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide are front runners.
April 2007: Menzies Aviation is the handling agent for Tiger Airways (TGR)'s new operation in Perth, Tiger Australia (TAU).
May 2007: New entrants in Australia and New Zealand, including Tiger Airways (TGR)'s foray into the market as Tiger Australia (TAU), are triggering a wave of deep discounting, according to the Sydney-based, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). Qantas (QAN) subsidiary, Jetstar Airways (IMU), which celebrated its third anniversary, had 130,000 seats for sale with companion fares as low as A$2.50/$2.06 on many domestic, trans-Tasman and international routes. The sale was designed to head off (TGR)'s announcement of its choice of Melbourne Airport as its (TAU) base. Virgin Blue (VOZ) retaliated with a -25% cut of its discount fares, while (QAN) also launched a 5-day domestic sale. (CAPA) said the frenzy will cross the Tasman to New Zealand with confirmation that "Kiwijet," a new Low Cost Carrier (LCC) based on Southwest Airlines (SWA)'s business model, plans to take to the skies later this year.
June 2007: Tiger Airways (TGR) received final approval from Indian authorities to operate commercial flights from Singapore to Chennai, Cochin, Goa, Trivandrum, Kolkata, and Kozhikode. (TGR) said it will announce a schedule "fairly soon" and expects to link its Indian services to its new operation in Australia (Tiger Australia (TAU)).
(TGR)'s impending entry into the Australian market with (TAU) is altering the dynamics of the country's route structure. Recently, Qantas (QAN) low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, Jetstar Airways (IMU) announced plans to operate on the major Sydney to Brisbane route from December. The move represents a departure from the convention of not linking major capital city airports, a policy that protected (QAN) from direct competition. (TAU)'s entry later this year onto major routes, plus the mammoth expansion solidified, with an order for 50 additional A320s announced at the Paris Air Show, has changed the playing field. While (IMU) flies midday, it now is likely that (QAN) will alter the schedule to fend off (TAU). (IMU) also is expected to begin serving Melbourne Tullamarine airport as it currently operates out of Avalon.
(TAU) fired the 1st shots in what is expected to be 1 of the toughest domestic fare wars yet seen in Australia. Its opening fare of A$80/$67.29 between Darwin, 1 of its 2 current entry points, and its domestic base of Melbourne is one-third the typical fare. The cities are 3,151 km apart. (IMU) responded immediately with a A$79 offering.
July 2007: The Australian domestic market is heading for intense price competition as Singapore-based Tiger Airways (TGR) announced more domestic routes and fares for its Australian Tiger Australia (TAU) launch in late November. (TAU)'s latest route announcement is Melbourne to Launceston with fares starting at A$39.99/$34.87. Its Australian operation will be based in Melbourne, and destinations include Perth, Mackay, Rockhampton, Alice Springs and Darwin. Qantas (QAN) low-cost subsidiary Jetstar Airways (IMU) bettered the Launceston fare with a A$29 offering. However, it has yet to match (TAU)'s Melbourne to Perth fare of A$59.95, recently announced. (IMU)'s best fare for that 4-hour transcontinental journey is A$99, inclusive of all charges and taxes. (TAU) plans to launch its Australian service on November 23, with all announced destinations in operation by December 1.
August 2007: Tiger Airways (TGR) chose the (V2500) for its recently ordered A320s. The order for engines for the 50 A320s plus (V2500) Select aftermarket agreements is worth S$1.3 billion. (TGR) ordered 30 A320s and took options on 20 at the Paris Air Show in June. The airplanes will underpin its aggressive expansion into the Australian domestic market with Tiger Australia (TAU), from November and the Singapore - India market from October.
October 2007: Tiger Airways (TGR) opened its new terminal for Tiger Australia (TAU) at Melbourne Tullamarine (MEL) in addition to initiating a fare war, with transcontinental routes such as (MEL) to Perth, going on sale for A$39.95/$35.90 and flights from (MEL) to Gold Coast, running at A$19.95. (CEO) Tony Davis told media in Melbourne, that 15,000 seats will be available at those fare levels. (TAU) will launch domestic services next month in Australia with 5 A320s.
(TGR) confirmed its Paris Air Show order for 30 A320s plus 20 options. (TGR) currently operates 9 A320s, with 11 scheduled for delivery by 2010. (TGR) announced in August that it had selected the (V2500) engine. The airplanes will seat 180Y. "(TGR) is expected to enjoy impressive growth from our Singapore international, and Australian domestic networks (TAU), and we are expanding our airplane fleet to meet continued strong demand for affordable air travel across the Asia Pacific region," (CEO) Tony Davis said. (TGR) is planning to launch its Australian (TAU) domestic service this fall.
A320-232 (3275, VH-VNC), (TGR) wet-leased.
November 2007: Tiger Australia (TAU) is upping the ante down under, ahead of the late-November launch of flights from its new Australian base in Melbourne, placing 40,000 tickets on sale from A$9.95/$9.13, inclusive of taxes and charges, and announcing Newcastle, Canberra, and Hobart as new destinations.
(TAU) took to Australian skies on schedule with its 1st flights from Melbourne to Gold Coast, Rockhampton and MacKay in Queensland, after being awarded its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) 2 days earlier. Plans to operate to Alice Springs from December 1 have been grounded, after a breakdown in ground handling arrangements with Qantas (QAN). The service now will start on March 1.
A320-232 (3296, VH-VND), (TGR) wet-leased.
December 2007: Tiger Airways (TGR) has flown into the black, while claiming to have the 2nd-lowest unit costs in the world. (TGR) (CEO) Tony Davis, who has been tight-lipped on the airline's profit performance, said: "We have been cash flow positive for 2 years and profitable for the last 2 quarters." He also declared that (TGR) now "has the world's 2nd-lowest (ASK) capacity costs" behind AirAsia (ASW) and issued a warning to Australia's Jetstar Airways (IMU): "We are reducing our costs all the time." While Davis declined to provide a figure, (IMU)'s unit cost, excluding fuel, fell -7.4% last fiscal year, to 5.49 Australian cents/4.8 US cents. AirAsia (ASW) boasts (CASK), excluding fuel, of 1.56 USA cents.
Regarding (TGR)'s recently launched Australian domestic operation, Tiger Australia (TAU) Davis said that "forward sales are significantly ahead of budget, and we are pleasantly surprised by the level of demand."
(TGR) converted 20 A320 options, completing the firming of its 50-airplane order (30 firm and 20 options), announced at the Paris Air Show. The airplanes will seat 180 passengers in an all-economy (Y) configuration. (TGR) currently flies 12 A320s and will take 8 more through 2009. The final airplane now will be delivered in 2016.
A320-232 (3332, VH-VHF), delivery.
March 2008: Tiger Airways (TGR) will increase services to regional Australia to take on Virgin Blue (VOZ)'s new E-jets and QantasLink (NJS)'s Dash 8-Q400s and 717s. Speaking at the National Aviation Press Club in Sydney, Tiger (TGR) (CEO) Tony Davis told media that "destinations like Tamworth [in regional New South Wales] have seen the cost of airfares increase and their citizens are desperate for the low-cost revolution to arrive." He said the cheapest flight from Tamworth to Melbourne [(TAU)'s base] is on Qantas (QAN) at A$356/$332 and involves a Sydney stop. (TAU) plans to use 144-seat A319s for its regional push, and the airplanes also will spearhead a move across the Tasman to New Zealand later in the year. Davis sees the A319 as perfectly sized, with 20 regional airports able to handle it and another 20 requiring just a slight lengthening of their runways. He added that Tiger (TGR) has 50 A320s on order up to 2016 and a substantial number could be switched to A319s, with a fleet of up to 30 airplanes eventually based in Australia. (TAU)'s initial fleet plan involved five A320s, with the fifth arriving next month, serving 13 destinations, offered early insight into the airline's growth plans. As it did last year, Tiger (TGR) will invite Australians to vote online for their preferred regional destination as it attempts to gauge demand. Davis expects to announce a second Australian base within 3 months and told media that the airline plans 5 operating bases in the country over the next 7 years. For the New Zealand market, it is eyeing Palmerston North.
(CIT) Aerospace (TCI) will lease 2 new A319-100s to Tiger Airways Australia (TAU). The airplanes are powered by (IAE) (V2524-A5)s.
October 2008: Jetstar Airways (IMU)'s new (CEO) Bruce Buchanan, downplayed the impact of Tiger Airways (TGR) in the Australasian market (as Tiger Australia (TAU)), saying that his focus is on "bigger [low-cost] competitors with large fleets, that have a significant impact on the market. There is only one or 2 in the Asian region and I don't put Tiger (TGR)/(TAU) in that category."
Virgin Blue (VOZ) operates >50 airplanes and has local market presence, while Kuala Lumpur-based AirAsia (ASW) has 70 airplanes and has been frank about its ambitions.
(TAU) currently operates just five airplanes in Australia, but last year, (TGR) ordered 50 A320s for Asian operations. (TGR) has been coy on where they will be deployed, but short-term Australian (TAU) plans indicate a fleet of eight airplanes. "We do take them seriously and we welcome competition. It's good for the economy and it's healthy for us, keeps us nimble," Buchanan said.
(IMU)'s fleet comprises 31 A320 family airplanes with 68 more deliveries planned through 2013. (IMU) now serves 20 Australian destinations and 29 internationally from Australia, and hubs in Singapore and Hanoi. Buchanan said it is "well placed to sustainably put more low fares into the marketplace." Passenger numbers in the year ended June 30 rose +32.3% year-over-year to 5.8 million, while (RPK)s traffic soared +47.5% to 6.41 billion, with load factor at 71% LF.
December 2008: Tiger Airways (TGR) and Tiger Australia (TAU) parent, Tiger Aviation posted a +S$9.9 million/+$6.5 million profit in the fiscal year ended March 31, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation reported. The result compares to a -S$24.7 million loss the previous year. (TGR) reported a +S$37.8 million profit, while the new Australian subsidiary (TAU) posted a -A$12.2 million/-$8 million operating loss.
January 2009: Domestic airfares in Australia have plummeted -30% in a year to the lowest point in 17 years, according to data released by the government's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). While the lowest fares fell dramatically, domestic business class (C) fares eased just -1% but are expected to decline more significantly in the coming months as the economy continues to slow and business confidence sinks to its lowest level since surveys were launched in 1998. An Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) investor confidence survey found that expectations for early 2009 were even worse than 2008. (ACCI) said business conditions and sales were at their lowest levels since 1998 when the survey began and profitability was at its lowest level in seven years. The (BITRE) Domestic Air Fare Index is not expressed in actual fares but as an index. The January 2008 index of 56.1 is almost half that of January 1993.
Fares also are expected to nosedive on international routes from February, with some Australia-based airline executives describing forward bookings as "extremely weak." On the Pacific, V Australia (VAZ) is due to launch 777-300ER service on February 27 with fares starting at A$1,199/$827.65 return. Delta Air Lines (DAL) will launch Atlanta to Los Angeles to Sydney flights on July 1. On shorter-range routes, both Tiger Airways (TGR)/(TAU) and AirAsia X (ASX) are offering significant discounts, with a A$206 1-way Melbourne to Singapore fare and a A$199 one-way ticket to Kuala Lumpur from Melbourne and Perth.
A320-232 (3734, VH-VNH), delivery.
March 2009: Tiger Australia (TAU) opened its newest base in Australia: Adelaide. New destinations include Perth, Gold Coast and
Hobart, complementing existing flights to Melbourne. Canberra and Alice Springs will soon follow.
February 2010: Tiger Airways (TGR) and Tiger Australia (TAU) parent, Tiger Aviation Group posted a net profit of +S$14.1 million in the fiscal third quarter ended December 31, reversed from a -S$7.9 million loss in the year-ago period. 3rd-quarter operating profit was +S$23.5 million, boosted by a +29% year-over-year increase in revenue to S$139.5 million. President & (CEO) Tony Davis said the turnaround was "driven by traffic growth across both our airlines, increasing ancillary revenues and a focus on cost containment." Unit cost fell -16% and (CASK) excluding fuel, was cut 4%. "With this result, our year-to-date underlying operating profit, excluding fuel hedging losses of -S$22.2 million and (IPO)-related expenses of S$7.6 million, was S$36.6 million, a S$68 million turnaround from the previous financial year," Davis said. Load factor rose +4.6 points to 87.6% LF on a +23.3% lift in capacity to 1.96 billion (ASK)s.
March 2010: Tiger Airways (TGR) named bmibaby (BMI) Managing Director Crawford Rix as Managing Director of Tiger Airways Australia (TAU).
June 2010: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) has added 4 more routes to its schedule at Melbourne’s Avalon Airport, where it is due to launch service in November. (TAU) is adding flights from Avalon to Sydney, Rockhampton, Mackay, and Alice Springs. It already announced
flights to the Gold Coast, Adelaide, and Perth. (TAU) is also boosting capacity on the Avalon to Gold Coast route, which will now feature 2x-daily. Avalon will be (TAU)’s 3rd Australian base after Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport and Adelaide. It will begin operations November 10 with 2 A320 airplanes.
July 2010: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) is the Australian subsidiary of Tiger Airways (TGR) based in Singapore. It operates domestic services from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, Mackay, Rockhampton, and Alice Springs. Services to Darwin connect with the Tiger Airways (TGR) service to Singapore.
(IATA) Code: TT. (ICAO) Code: TGW.
Main base: Melbourne Tullamarine International airport (MEL).
October 2010: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) says it has confirmed delivery of 2 more A320 airplanes, bringing the (TAU) fleet in Australia to 12. The new A320s are due to arrive in 2011. They will follow the delivery of (TAU)’s 10th airplane, which is expected by year-end. All 3 will be based at Melbourne Airport.
Meanwhile, (TAU) is preparing to open a new base at Melbourne’s Avalon Airport next month. This will give it 3 bases: the 2 Melbourne airports and Adelaide Airport.
April 2011: Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (ACASA) is investigating Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) over “a variety of issues.” Details of (ACASA)’s investigation emerged as (TAU), owing to an unrelated problem, was forced to cancel several flights, disrupting Easter travel plans for hundreds of passengers. Perth services continue as scheduled.
(ACASA) issued a "show cause" notice to (TAU) over a series of concerns related to safety and maintenance, according to insiders who noted the concerns were more related to paperwork and not considered serious. (ACASA) issues “show cause” notices “where there is not a serious and imminent risk to safety,” according to the regulator, which pointed out the notices “set out the facts and circumstances of the matter and provides the operator with an opportunity to explain their own view of those facts and circumstances."
A (TAU) spokesperson said (TAU) "has responded promptly and in full to (ACASA)'s inquiry, Safety underpins (TAU)'s operations at all times and (TAU) continues to operate normally with (ACASA)'s approval," the spokesperson said. (TAU) is partly owned by Singapore Airlines (SIA).
The last time (ACASA) issued a "show cause" notice to a major airline was to Ansett (ANS) in 2001 over safety breaches with its 767s.
July 2011: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) was grounded by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (ACASA) on July 2 over a series of safety issues mostly related to oversight and training.
Passengers booked on flights through August on grounded Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) are now entitled to a full refund after a deal brokered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). (TAU), grounded until at least August 1 over safety concerns, was resisting passenger demands for refunds for flights booked next month.
Australia's consumer watchdog received a commitment from (TAU) on remedies it will offer passengers affected by the suspension of flights. "The (ACCC) decision to accept this commitment from (TAU) provides clarity to affected consumers and ensures that they are not left out of pocket," said (ACCC) Chairman Graeme Samuel.
As a result of its suspension, (TAU), a subsidiary of Tiger Airways Holdings, is not selling tickets.
The (ACCC), together with other Australian consumer law regulators, have raised various concerns in relation to the treatment of consumers affected by the suspension. (TAU) has committed to automatically provide refunds to passengers who have been affected by the cancellation of flights in July.
For domestic flights booked to depart prior to August 1, (TAU) will provide a full refund, including ticket cost, taxes and any surcharges to all consumers and will refund these within 20 business days from the date the flights were canceled. For flights in August, (TAU) has agreed to allow consumers to cancel those flights without penalty. If passengers choose to cancel a booking, they will be required to advise (TAU) airline of their cancellation at any time until 7 days after the resumption of services, which is subject to regulatory clearance by the (ACASA).
Singapore-based, Tiger Airways (TGR) Holdings said former SilkAir (SLK) (CEO) Chin Yau Seng would take over as acting (CEO) to allow the company's head Tony Davis to focus on overseeing subsidiary Tiger Airways Australia (TAU)'s recovery from its grounding by regulators over safety issues.
Davis said his appointment as (CEO) of (TAU) is a "tangible demonstration" of the company's "long-term" commitment to Australia. He noted that (TAU) will not contest the extension of its grounding by Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (ACASA) through August 1.
Speaking with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Davis said, "We're doing everything necessary to reassure (CASA) and the public that (TAU) is a safe and viable airline and has an absolute long-term future in Australia. Right now we're undertaking a comprehensive review of the operation, we're making sure that we can assure ourselves that the airline is safe and viable and we're focused on resuming services at the end of the month. So, the process is ongoing."
He emphasized to the (ABC) that Tiger Airways Holdings is "investing significantly in the long-term future of Tiger Australia (TAU). Let's complete the review, let's see what needs to be done and the commitment from the business is what needs to be done will be done."
He added that the grounding, which started July 2, is "costing us in tangible terms about A$2 million/$2.1 million a week, so obviously the fact that we've decided to suspend the services until the end of July means that that's a significant cost."
The grounding has affected up to 35,000 passengers weekly, while costing the airline approximately A$7 million/$7.8 million in lost revenue.
Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) announced the appointment of industry veteran, Captain Chris Manning as Safety Advisor, a move understood to be the 1st in a series of steps aimed at satisfying regulators' concerns about (TAU) safety oversight. Captain Manning, formerly General Manager Flight Operations & Chief Pilot for the Qantas Group, will work with parent Tiger Airlines (TGR) (CEO) Tony Davis to revamp (TAU)’s safety systems.
Manning has spent >40 years in aviation, and is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a former President of the Australian & International Pilots Association. Davis said “Chris is 1 of the most experienced pilots (FC) and operational advisors in Australia and we are lucky to have him working with our business. Safety will continue to underpin our operations at all times and with the assistance of Chris, I am confident that Tiger Australia (TAU) will operate with the highest levels of safety management across our entire operation, both on the ground and in the air.”
SEE ATTACHED "FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL" ARTICLE - - "TAU-2011-07-AIRLINE GROUNDING-A/B."
August 2011: Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has lifted the suspension of Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) and the airline will resume services. However, for the month of August (TAU) will be limited to 18x-daily. Operations initially will be restricted to the Melbourne to Sydney route. Flights to other Australian cities will follow in September, it is understood.
(CASA) said it had set a series of conditions for (TAU) to address “key areas of operational importance,” which “will underpin ongoing improvements in the airline’s safety performance.” These cover pilot (FC) training and proficiency, pilot (FC) rostering and fatigue management, currency and revision of operational manuals and related documents, and improved change-management processes. (CASA) also wants additional qualified personnel in key training and safety oversight positions.
(CASA) Director Aviation Safety John McCormick said (TAU) had demonstrated it can comply with the conditions on its air operator’s certificate and meet the necessary safety requirements. “On that basis, (CASA) now believes allowing Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) to resume operations is acceptable,” said McCormick. “(TAU) has cooperated with (CASA)’s investigation and is to be credited for a constructive approach.”
However, (CASA) said it will be closely monitoring (TAU) operations through scheduled surveillance and regular spot checks. “We will also be meeting regularly with the airline to review ongoing safety performance and compliance with the conditions on the (TAU)’s operations,” said McCormick. Over the past month, (CASA) has supervised the re-training of all (TAU) pilots (FC).
(TAU) said it would close its crew base at Adelaide and temporarily close its Avalon base. (TAU) resumed ticket sales for the Melbourne to Sydney route and said it will announce details concerning resuming more routes shortly. (TAU) will also reduce its fleet from 10 A320s to 8.
Tiger Airways (TGR) Holdings Ltd appointed acting (CEO) Chin Yau Seng as the airline (TGR)/(TAU)’s permanent (CEO) with effect November 1. Chin, a former Silk Air (SLK) (CEO) has been with the Singapore Airlines Group >15 years. Chin will succeed Tony Davis, who leaves the airline on November 1st.
September 2011: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) appointed former (COO) of Virgin Australia (VOZ), Andrew David as (TAU)’s new (CEO), replacing Tony Davis who resigned last month. Davis was formerly (CEO) of (TAU)’s Singapore-based parent, Tiger Airways (TGR) Holdings, but stepped down in July to get the troubled (TAU) back into the air after it was grounded for almost 6 weeks owing to safety issues.
(TAU) has now resumed limited services, adding flights to Perth this month. It now services Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney from Melbourne.
David, who was Virgin Blue (VOZ) (COO) for 5 years until November 2010, left as (VOZ)’s new (CEO) John Borghetti restructured (VOZ) into a full-service operation.
Chin Yau Seng, who replaced Davis as (CEO) of Tiger Airways (TGR) Holdings, said that David “brings with him a wealth of experience in the airline business and a proven track record as a leader and manager.”
November 2011: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) has received regulatory approval to operate 32 sectors daily, an increase from the current limit of 22 sectors.
The approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA) takes immediate effect, said Singapore-based Tiger Airways (TGR) in a stock exchange statement.
With the increase, (TAU) plans to introduce an extra daily service on the Melbourne to Perth, Melbourne to Brisbane and Melbourne to Gold Coast routes. It also intends to add 2x-daily services on the Melbourne to Sydney route. These new services will be rolled out before Christmas.
August 2012: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) has based its 2nd airplane at the newly relaunched base in Sydney (SYD) and launched flights to Brisbane (BNE) on August 1. The A320 operator initially operates 2x-daily, increasing to 4x-daily on September 1st. The new operation faces considerable competition. Qantas (QAN) operates 136x-weekly, while Virgin Australia (VOZ) serves the market with 131x-weekly flights and fellow low cost carrier (LCC) Jetstar (IMU) operates 23x-weekly.
September 2012: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) plans to resume its Melbourne to Adelaide service on November 1st and will operate 2x-daily flights from Melbourne's Tullamarine airport to Adelaide airport. The service will start in time for the summer holiday and upcoming new year festival season in south Australia.
Flights to and from Adelaide are still subject to regulatory approval.
"(TAU) is continuing with its Australian expansion as planned and our return to Adelaide is an important milestone on this journey," (CEO) Andrew David, said.
October 2012: Virgin Australia (VOZ) has acquired 60% of Tiger Airways Australia (TAU), 100% of Australian regional, Skywest Airlines (SKD) and has sold a 10% stake to Singapore Airlines (SIA).
(VOZ) said the deals will accelerate growth, diversify earning and intensify competition in Australia. If approved, the Virgin Australia Group will grow to 139 airplanes and >9,000 employees. “The acquisition of Tiger Australia (TAU) and (SKD) provides (VOZ) with a strong presence in the budget, Fly-in Fly-Out and regional markets, enabling us to fast-track our expansion in these areas and become a stronger competitor,” (VOZ) (CEO) John Borghetti said.
Specifically, (VOZ) has inked a share purchase agreement with Tiger Airways (TGR) to acquire control of (TAU) for AUD35 million/$33.2 million, plus a further AUD5 million if “certain financial performance targets” are hit within 5 years. It has agreed in principle to fully acquire (SKD) for AUD0.45 per share, which would be paid in cash and new (VOZ) shares, although the deal still needs to be approved by (SKD)’s shareholders. Finally, (SIA) will buy 10% of (VOZ) through a share placement.
If the (SKD) deal goes ahead, the airline will become part of the (VOZ) brand, but will continue to fly under its existing air operator’s certificate (AOC). (SKD) will also retain its own (CEO) and management team and continue to be based in Western Australia. “We launched a regional network partnership with Skywest (SKD) in October 2011 and now we will be able to realize the full potential of the operation through developing a more integrated network, service and frequent flyer program,” Borghetti said.
Under the (TAU) deal, (VOZ) and (TGR) are planning to enter a shareholder, brand licensing and services agreement. The partners have also agreed to invest up to a further AUD62.5 million in (TAU). “The joint venture has flexibility to grow Tiger Australia (TAU)’s fleet from 11 to up to 35 airplanes by 2018,” (VOZ) said.
“This transaction enables Virgin Australia (VOZ) to access the budget market and enables Tiger Australia (TAU) to expedite its growth, providing greater competition to this important market segment. By partnering with Tiger Airways (TGR), we can use our expertise to leverage (TAU)’s competitive cost base and build a sustainable budget carrier. We are committed to maintaining the (TAU) business model and brand, and we look forward to collaborating with (TGR) as the business grows,” Borghetti said.
November 2012: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) increased its presence in Melbourne (MEL) with 2x-daily services each to Adelaide (ADL) in South Australia and the Tasman city of Hobart (HBA). Both services will be operated using (TAU)’s fleet of A320s, as (TAU) brings the number of routes offered from Melbourne to 7. Competition on the new routes comes from Qantas (QAN) (which offers 71x- and 21x-weekly flights respectively), Virgin Australia (VOZ) (64x- and 37x-), and Jetstar (IMU) (18x- and 38x-).
December 2012: Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) commenced flights on 2 domestic routes to Mackay (MKY) on the E Australian coast, and links the city to both Melbourne (MEL) and Sydney (SYD). 4x- and 5x-weekly A320-operated flights respectively are offered on the routes. Competition comes from Virgin Australia (VOZ)’s 6x-weekly departures in the market from Sydney.
February 2013: Australia’s competition watchdog has warned that Virgin Australia (VOZ)’s proposed acquisition of a 60% stake in Tiger Airways Australia (TAU) could limit competition.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a “statement of issues” on the tie-up and has set a February 22 deadline for responses. It is aiming to reach a decision on the deal by March 14, pushing back the original February 7 deadline.
Budget carrier Tiger Australia (TAU) launched operations in 2007 and serves 11 domestic routes with 11 airplanes. Its would-be partner, Virgin Australia (VOZ), is also acquiring Australian regional Skywest Airlines (SKW). Virgin Australia (VOZ) ranks as the country’s second largest operator after the Qantas (QAN) Group.
Laying down the watchdog’s preliminary views, (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims said the acquisition may raise domestic competition concerns, cutting the number of mainline airline groups from 3 to 2.
“This potential reduction in competition arises as a result of the increased ability on the part of Qantas (QAN)/Jetstar (IMU) and Virgin Australia (VOZ)/Tiger Australia (TAU) to coordinate their activities once Tiger Australia (TAU) is no longer operating as an independent low cost carrier,” Sims said. However, “certain factors” could shift the (ACCC)’s view such as the financial position, size and shape of Tiger (TAU) post-acquisition.
“If the (ACCC) were to conclude that Tiger Australia (TAU) would exit the market in the absence of the proposed acquisition, this would be highly relevant to our assessment,” Sims said. “Another relevant factor is that the merger parties have publicly announced an intention to expand Tiger Australia (TAU)’s fleet from its current 11 airplanes to 35 airplanes by 2018. If the (ACCC) was satisfied that a significant increase in capacity would take place, this would also diminish the prospect of any increase in coordinated conduct in the market,” he added.
(TAU) will launch 4x-weekly, Melbourne - Sunshine Coast service on March 27, 4x-weekly, Sydney - Cairns service on April 4, and 4x-weekly service to Alice Springs from Melbourne and Sydney on April 9.
April 2013: The Northern Territory town of Alice Springs (ASP) has succumbed to the prowess of Tiger Airways Australia (TAU), which has started 4x-weekly A320 services from both Sydney (SYD) and Melbourne (MEL), each beginning on April. The 2,023 km link to Sydney will trace daily competition from Qantas (QAN), with a similar competing frequency from the same airline on the slightly shorter 1,857 km sector to the most populous city in the state of Victoria. Both (QAN) flights are operated by its 168-seat 737-800s.
May 2013: Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has approved Virgin Australia (VOZ)’s acquisition of a 60% stake in Tiger Airways Australia (VAU), Virgin Australia Holdings (VAH) has announced. (VAH) confirmed the (FIRB) had “no objections” to the proposed acquisition.
In February, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman, Rod Sims had said the acquisition may raise domestic competition concerns, cutting the number of mainline airline groups from 3 to 2. “This confirmation satisfies another condition for the proposed acquisition of Tiger Australia (TAU), which will enable Virgin Australia (VOZ) to access the budget market segment and expedite the growth of (TAU),” (VAH) said, adding the proposed transaction still remains subject to certain conditions.
Virgin Australia (VOZ) expects the transaction to be complete by mid-July.
July 2013: Low-cost carrier (LCC) Tiger Airways (TGR) has been re-branded as "Tigerair," as it seeks to improve passenger connectivity through Singapore. SEE ATTACHED - - "TAU-2013-07 - TIGERAIR INTRO." The re-branding means that its subsidiary in Australia, Tiger Airways Australia (TAU), will become "Tigerair Australia." The carrier has yet to confirm if its affiliates in Indonesia and the Philippines (Mandala Airlines (MND) and Seair (SRQ)) will be re-branded.
A contemporary grey rounded font typography, with brushing orange accents replaces the leaping tiger that used to be the main element of Tiger Airways (TGR)'s logo. SEE PHOTO - - "TAU-2013-07 - TIGERAIR."
Tigerair (TGR) said it is creating synergies between its carriers based in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines by allowing passengers to book connecting flights via Singapore. It also plans to introduce mobile and web check-in options, improve the capabilities available on its mobile phone applications, allow passengers to amend bookings online and give them the option to pre-order meals. "We have initiated a series of changes since late last year, and this brand identity should be seen as a reinforcement of our commitment towards a better and bolder Tigerair (TGR)," said the group's (CEO) Koay Peng Yen.
Tiger Airways Holdings slipped back into the red for the quarter ending June 30 2013 (1st Quarter, Fiscal Year FY2014) as its affiliates in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines were again unprofitable. The group is confident its new partnership with Virgin Australia (VOZ) will soon lead to profits at Tigerair Australia (TAU) and there will also be improvements at Tigerair Mandala (MND) and Tigerair Philippines (SRQ), but challenges remain at all 3 low cost carriers (LCC)s.
Meanwhile, the group faces potential over-capacity in its home market as Tigerair Singapore (TGR) accelerates expansion. (TGR) is adding 5 airplanes over the next 9 months for a total of 26 A320s, marking the biggest expansion in 2 years, when over-capacity led to losses.
There are bigger potential opportunities for growth in Indonesia, but Tigerair Mandala (MND) has not yet become profitable. The outlook for Tigerair Philippines (SRQ), which has been stuck at only 5 A320s for the last year, is bleaker.
October 2013: (BAE) Systems commenced base maintenance support for Tigerair Australia (TAU) from its Melbourne International Airport hangar as of October 1st, 2013, providing around 20 new full time jobs.
Tigerair Australia (TAU) (CEO) Rob Sharp, says the new strategic partnership reinforces a commitment to strengthen the operational performance of the airline as part of the long term business strategy.
“We have a significant growth plan to deliver on and we believe this partnership is the right one to assist us to consistently provide the best in terms of safe, affordable and reliable air travel, which our customers should expect from us as a given. We are pleased to play an innovative role in the industry and develop a platform that meets the needs of our business and our customers.
“We are confident (BAE) Systems can deliver this very important capability for us. They are recognized as one of the most experienced military airplane sustainment providers in Australia with >20 years of extensive maintenance experience and a proven performance record,” he said.
(BAE) Systems Australia Aerospace Director, Steve Drury described the new contract as a strategic opportunity for the company to enter an adjacent market. “This is our 1st major commercial airplane maintenance contract and we are pleased to be providing capability for a major Australian domestic airline,” Mr Drury said. “Our immediate focus is ensuring we meet all contract milestones and deliver Tigerair Australia (TAU) the highest quality of service on time.”
Mr Drury said (BAE) Systems’ commercial maintenance, repair and overhaul capability was built on its longstanding airplane sustainment support to the Australian Defence Force as an accredited Authorized Maintenance Organization.
“As part of our long term strategy to diversify our customer base, we have now achieved Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) 145 accreditation to deliver line maintenance up to and including "A"-checks for the A319/A320/A321 family.
“(BAE) Systems is the 1st company in Australia to start an independent commercial airplane maintenance operation from a greenfield site and our partnership with (TAU) is an important 1st step in establishing a long-term business in this area.”
December 2013: Tigerair Australia (TAU) will make Brisbane Airport its 3rd Australian base next spring, when it stations 2 A320s in the Queensland state capital to complement its existing operation from there to its other 2 hubs in Sydney and Melbourne. The move is the latest attack by (TAU) on Qantas (QAN)’s low cost carrier (LCC) offshoot, Jetstar Airways (IMU), directed no doubt by the former’s majority shareholder Virgin Australia (VOZ), which is following its own twin-product strategy in the Australian domestic market (a move that will increasingly see all 4 airlines going head-to-head on trunk routes).
(TAU)'s initial based operation will feature daily services to Cairns and Darwin, as well as 6x-weekly flights to Adelaide. While on flights to Darwin the (LCC) will offer the same weekly frequency as the 3 incumbents, giving all 4 airlines an equal 25% of all flights, its share to Cairns will be just 8% and marginally better to Adelaide at 10%.
With little fanfare, Virgin Australia (VOZ) and Tigerair Australia (TAU) have made the 1st public change to their networks as part of the dual-brand strategy they are now pursuing following Virgin (VOZ)'s purchase of 1-time competitor, (TAU) that gives (VOZ) a budget off-shoot to match the Qantas Group's Qantas (QAN)-Jetstar (IMU) pairing. As stated above, (TAU) will enter the Brisbane - Darwin market at flight timings almost identical to Virgin (VOZ), which will change its timings to match (QAN).
The nuances may seem local but the implications are global: Australia will be the 1st market to see 2 full-scale dual-brand strategies compete head-to-head with each other. Product, service and brand are key ingredients to a successful dual-brand strategy, but the network underpins it. Many airlines have tried a dual-brand strategy but most bundle some (sometimes all) of the necessary components. Virgin Australia (VOZ) is not just going to attempt a dual-brand strategy but is doing so in the backyard of 1 of the airlines that pioneered it. In 1 of the ironies typical of the Australian market, (QAN) developed Jetstar (IMU) and the dual-brand strategy to combat then low-cost Virgin Blue. In response, (VOZ) started to move upmarket and reached a point where it largely had to become full-service, exposing its inability to successful target the low-end of the market. Buying (TAU) completes a nearly decade-long circle, but begins the intricate process of making the 2 airlines work alongside each other.
A320-232 (5900, VH-VNR), ex-(D-AVVO), Thames Leasing leased.
March 2014: Tigerair Australia (TAU) opened up its 3rd base in Australia on March 11th, with the start of operations from Brisbane (BNE) to Adelaide (ADL). Along with extra flights to existing destination Sydney, new services to Cairns and Darwin will be launched from the base next month. The 6x-weekly route will face some intense competition, with 57x-weekly services split between Qantas (QAN) (25x-), Virgin Australia Airlines (VOZ) (25x-) and Jetstar Airways (IMU) (7x-). (TAU) used the same day to launch daily flights from Sydney (SYD) to Adelaide (ADL). Competition on this city pair will be even fiercer, with the incumbents offering 123 weekly rotations between them ((QAN) (59x-), (VOZ) (39x-) and (IMU) (25x-). Both routes will be flown by (TAU)’s 180Y-seat A320s.
Being temporarily grounded in July 2011, and then having restrictions imposed on its operations by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority lasting until October 2012 could have slain lesser beasts, but Tigerair Australia (TAU) is roaring back to growth, following the opening of its third base in Brisbane on March 11th - - SEE ATTACHED - - "TAU-2014-03-BRISBANE BASE." (TAU) is part of a wider group of airlines, which also comprises of Tigerair Singapore (TGR) (formerly Tiger Airways), Tigerair Philippines (RIT) (formerly SEAir) and Tigerair Mandala (MND) (formerly Mandala Airlines), the latter operating in Indonesia. Collectively, the 4 airline’s network extends to >50 destinations across 14 countries in the Asia Pacific. Today, Tigerair (TGR) has a fleet of 52 Airbus A320-family airplanes, averaging <3 years of age, with 13 allocated to the Tigerair Australia (TAU) fleet.
Tiger Australia (TAU) currently flies domestic sectors only, with its main operating bases being at Melbourne and Sydney, which currently control a combined 60% of its seats. However, as (TAU) continues to spread its network, the importance of these two bases has been reduced, as they were responsible for 65% of seats in the same week 12 months earlier.
Prior to (TAU)’s grounding it did have operational bases at Adelaide and Avalon (which serves the south Melbourne and Geelong catchment, and is close to famous Great Ocean Road featuring the 12 Apostles landmark), which have subsequently been removed, although a growing presence is evident at Adelaide, which has grown its share of Tigerair Australia (TAU)’s weekly seats from 4.0% last March, to 7.4% this year (the most significant increase in (TAU)’s network). Total seats have grown by +14% to nearly 73,000 year-on-year, due in part to the addition of 2 new network points over the last 12 months (namely Alice Springs (launched April 9th from Sydney and Melbourne) and Sunshine Coast (launched March 27th from Melbourne).
The top 12 routes account for 88% of (TAU) flights - - SEE ATTACHED - - "TAU-2014-03-TOP 12 ROUTES." Unsurprisingly, Tigerair Australia (TAU)’s Melbourne to Sydney operations, which is 1 of the busiest city pairs on the planet, can be found leading its top 12 routes. Even so, when (TAU)’s schedule data for March 18th - 24th this year is compared to the same week last year, (TAU) has marginally reduced its capacity on the route from 53x-weekly flights to 48x-. The top 12 routes constitute 88% of the airline’s weekly flying, whereas last year, Tigerair Australia (TAU) only operated 12 city pairs (it now operates 18 city pairs). Melbourne has the lion’s share of the top 12, with Sydney and Brisbane taking up the remaining 5 places (highlighted in light green).
In comparison to weekly data for last year, (TAU) is offering an additional 50 weekly flights (404 vs 354) in the week of March 18th - 24th 2014. Adelaide to Melbourne has seen the largest spike in weekly flights over the past 12 months, with a +21% increase from 2x-daily to 17x-weekly, whereas the Melbourne to Hobart city pair has witnessed the greatest decline, from 9x-weekly to daily (-22%). The bottom 3rd of top 12 routes are all new entrants in the last year.
April 2014: Tigerair Australia (TAU), which opened its Brisbane (BNE) base last month, has added 2 further cities to the growing operation, beginning daily services to both Cairns (CNS) and Darwin (DRW) on April 15th. Both services will be flown by (TAU)’s 180Y-seat A320s and both will face some stiff competition from incumbents on the routes. The Cairns route is the tougher of the 2, with Virgin Australia Airlines (VOZ) (29x-weekly), Jetstar Airways (IMU) (28x-) Qantas (QAN) (28x-) and Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) (4x-) providing competition on the 1,389 km sector. To Darwin, there are fewer competing frequencies and airlines, with (QAN) (11x-), Virgin Australia (VOZ) (7x-) and (IMU) (7x-) fighting for dominance in this market. NT Airports (CEO), Ian Kew said it was exciting to see (TAU) expanding its route coverage. “Tigerair (TAU)’s new Brisbane service is great news for tourism, with the airline’s low cost structure providing more options to travellers from such an important market,” he said. The Mayor of Cairns Bob Manning said the introduction of new flights demonstrated confidence in the Far North Queensland tourism industry. “We welcome (TAU)’s entry into the Brisbane to Cairns market and, of course, the people it will bring to our region.”
May 2014: Nearly 6 months since Australia mandated the use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), >97% of domestic and international airline flights in Australian airspace >29,000 feet (flight level 290) are being conducted using (ADS-B) surveillance, according to air navigation services provider, Airservices Australia.
The 1st (ADS-B) fitment mandate became effective December 12, 2013 for all Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flights at or >29,000 ft. in Australian airspace. On February 6, 2014, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) required all new (IFR) airplane registrations in Australia to be (ADS-B) capable, as well as all new transponder installations in older (IFR) airplanes.
As of January 6, 2016, all (IFR) airplanes operating within 500 nm to the north and east of Perth, Western Australia, will be required to be fitted with (ADS-B). By January 6, 2017, all Australian registered (IFR) airplanes flying within Australia’s airspace will be required to operate using (ADS-B).
Australia has a network of 61 (ADS-B) ground stations providing continent-wide air traffic control surveillance. Over the next 3 years, Airservices will install a further 15 (ADS-B) ground stations to provide additional surveillance coverage at lower altitudes and extend higher level coverage offshore.
Airservices Australia said the aviation industry has “strongly supported (ADS-B), with Australia’s major airlines and operators, including a number of international and regional airlines, embracing the new technology by investing in the installation of (ADS-B) equipment into their airplanes.”
June 2014: Adam Rowe has been appointed Commercial Director, replacing Carly Bear, who has left Tiger Australia (TAU). Adam is responsible for all commercial aspects of (TAU), including revenue management, network, marketing, communications, sales and distribution, and ancillary revenue.
October 2014: Singapore Airlines (SIA), key stakeholder in the Tigerair (TGR) low-cost carrier (LCC) Group, has taken a controlling interest in the (LCC)’s holding company and sold the Tigerair Australia (TAU) offshoot to Virgin Australia (VAU) for AUD1 ($0.88).
In what is effectively a bailout of the Tigerair Group, (SIA) has upped its stake in Tiger Airways Holdings from a previous 40% to 55%. It announced a further “guaranteed buy” rights issue to raise some $190 million, which could boost its total ownership to around 70%.
These changes mark the latest elements of a major reorganization following Tigerair (TGR)’s group loss of -$177 million in the year ended March 31, 2014. Immediately after the losses were announced, new (CEO) Lee Lik Hsin was brought in from (SIA)’s executive team. “Many of the issues [leading to Tigerair’s losses] came from joint ventures (JV)s which simply didn’t work,” Lee said. “That is about to change.”
Since Lee took the helm, the group has sold its Tigerair Philippines (SQH) operation for $15 million to Cebu Pacific (CEB), closed down its Indonesian Tigerair Mandala (MND) subsidiary following a lack of potential buyers, and subleased surplus airplanes to other carriers.
Nonetheless, the latest figures show Tigerair (TGR) is still loss-making. (TGR)’s latest report shows a loss of -S$182.4 million /-$143 million for the 3 months to September 30, largely due to a S$99.3 million write-down on the sublease of ex-Filipino Tigerair Airbus A320s to Indian carrier IndiGo (IGO).
The sale of the remaining 40% of Tigerair Australia (TAU) to Virgin (VOZ) will take another (JV) headache off the Tiger (TGR) management’s plate. Tiger Australia (TAU) has failed to make a profit for the last 2 years and saw a ban on flights 3 years ago after operational irregularities. “Given the ongoing subdued consumer demand in the Australian domestic market, the growth of the Tigerair Australia (TAU) domestic fleet is likely to be reduced,” Virgin Australia (VOZ) (CEO) John Borghetti said.
Lee said the new structure at Tigerair (TGR) should now allow it to concentrate on being what he called “a broad no-frills airline that would tap into strategic alliances into overseas markets.”
This points to an impending tie-up with Tigerair (TGR)’s (SIA) sibling (the wholly (SIA)-owned Scoot (SCT) long-haul (LCC). Given the Competition Commission of Singapore’s recent green light for such an alliance and immunity from anti-trust suits for an alliance, the stage would seem to be set for a full (LCC) arm to be run out of Singapore Airlines (SIA).
With (SIA)’s new controlling interest in both, a joint long/short-haul (LCC) entity could deliver a much more targeted and operationally efficient product to compete with AirAsia in the region.
Lee hinted as much in a recent interview and stressed that Tigerair (TGR) was looking at “going beyond a strategic alliance” with Scoot (SCT).
August 2015: News Item A-1: The Virgin Australia Group reported a net loss of -A$93.8 million/-$71.8 million for the full year ended June 30 (FY) 2015), narrowed from a -A$353.8 million loss in the previous financial year.
Total Group revenue and income increased +10.3% year-on-year to A$4.8 billion, inclusive of A$284.1 million of Tigerair Australia (TAU) revenue since October 17, 2014.
Virgin Australia Group (CEO) John Borghetti said: “The Virgin Australia Group has delivered a significant improvement in performance for the 2015 financial year, which reflects the positive trajectory of the overall business. I’m pleased to confirm that, based on current market conditions, all fundamental business metrics are on track for the Group to return to profitability and report a Return on Invested Capital in line with its cost of capital for the 2016 financial year.”
Current cost of capital is approximately 10%, and return on invested capital has increased +4.7% points from +1.4% a year ago to +6.1%.
“Unit revenue is increasing, unit costs are decreasing, and operational performance and customer satisfaction continue to improve,” Borghetti said. “The Group is ahead of our target of A$1 billion of cumulative cost savings by the end of (FY) 2017. We are now on track to achieve in excess of >A$1.2 billion in cumulative cost savings by this date, excluding fuel pricing and hedging benefits.”
The group reported a strong turnaround in Virgin Australia (VAU) Domestic business, with operating earnings (EBIT) of A$111.1 million, an improvement of +A$210.1 million on (FY) 2014, and on track for further margin improvement for (FY) 2016.
Revenue increased +4.8% year-on-year, on the back of capacity increases of +1.3%, driven by growth in the corporate and government, charter, interline and code share segments. Yield improved +5.2% compared to (FY) 2014, driven by an increased share of higher-yielding market segments.
“Over the 2015 financial year (VAU) Domestic has continued to drive positive yield growth,” Borghetti said. “The business is well positioned for future growth.”
Virgin Australia International (VAU) reported a drop in operating earnings, down -A$22.8 million year-on-year to A$68.9 million for (FY) 2015. Revenue was down -3.35% compared to (FY) 2014, on a capacity decline of -0.4%. The group said that increased competitive pressure, particularly in the SE Asian and long-haul markets, constrained yield recovery during the financial year.
The 1st phase of initiatives to improve the performance of the international business has begun to show improvement, with underlying (EBIT) improving by +A$2.4 million in the 2nd half of (FY) 2015 compared to the prior corresponding period. A 2nd phase of the plan will involve launching the Tigerair Australia (TAU) brand in the short-haul international market, to better cater to changing dynamics in the region.
The International Business is expected to be profitable by the end of (FY) 2017.
Borghetti also noted a “significant improvement” in Tigerair Australia (TAU)’s performance, with (EBIT) up by +A$42.7 million, putting it on track to achieve full year profitability for (FY) 2016.
“The Group’s unit revenue gains combined with our continued leadership on cost will drive earnings growth going forward. We now have a strong balance sheet from which to execute our strategy and a powerful portfolio of growth businesses,” Borghetti said. “As a result of the progress on our strategy to date, we are now on a positive trajectory and on track to significantly improve financial performance again for the 2016 financial year.”
News Item A-2: Virgin Australia ((IATA) Code: VA, based at Brisbane International) (TAU) will transfer 3 737-800s to its Tigerair Australia ((IATA) Code: TT, based at Melbourne Tullamarine) (TAU) subsidiary ahead of the latter's international debut early next year. The move is part of what the Virgin Australia Group says are plans to 'optimise its international network to deliver improved fleet utilisation and meet customer demand on key trans-Tasman and short-haul international routes.'
As such, regulatory requirements aside, Tigerair Australia (TAU) will use the 3 all-economy 737s to offer scheduled services to Denpasar, Indonesia from Adelaide (5x-weekly); Melbourne Tullamarine (daily); and Perth International (daily) effective March 23, 2016. Virgin Australia (VOZ) will itself withdraw from each of the 3 routes on March 22, 2016.
(VOZ) acquired outright control of (TAU) late last year following Tigerair (TGR)'s decision to withdraw and focus on its own operations. The (LCC) currently operates 13 A320-200s on flights connecting Sydney Kingford Smith, Adelaide, Brisbane International, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Coolangatta/Gold Coast, Hobart, Mackay, Melbourne, Perth, and Proserpine.
News Item A-3: TigerAir Australia (TAU) currently operates 13 airplanes to 1 country to 12 destinations, on 18 routes and 49 daily flights.
November 2015: Tigerair Australia (TAU) has received Boeing (TBC) 737-800 (34013, VH-VUB) this month.
The 737-800 is part of a trio of 737s (TAU) sourced from parent Virgin Australia (VAU) to operate its 1st international flights from Perth International, Melbourne Tullamarine, and Adelaide to Denpasar, Indonesia beginning in late-March of next year.
Prior to the 737's delivery, Tigerair (TAU) had been an all-Airbus Industrie (EDS) operation, plying 14 A320-200s on flights to 11 destinations across Australia from bases at Brisbane International, Melbourne, and Sydney Kingsford Smith.
(TAU) currently operates 15 aircraft, to 1 country, to 11 destinations, on 18 routes and 76 daily flights.
June 2016: "Value Alliance: the Hubs, Focus Airports and Routes Where Alliance Members Might Gain Synergies", by (CAPA), June 20,2016.
Since the Value Alliance was announced in May 2016 as the 2nd low cost carrier (LCC) alliance, there has been industry interest about how and where the alliance can deliver synergies. The 9 initial members of the Value Alliance include Cebu Pacific (CEB), Cebgo (SRQ), Jeju Air (JJA), Nok Air (NKA), NokScoot (NSC), Scoot (SCT), Tigerair Singapore (TGR), Tigerair Australia (TAU) and Vanilla Air (VNL).
Tokyo Narita is the alliance hub with more service from Value members (five) than any other. But Asia's most popular airports for Value members are not where the alliance has a local member: Taipei and Hong Kong.
In terms of frequency, Manila and Bangkok Don Mueang have the most Value flights, reflecting their local membership there. The local Value member based at an airport typically dominates the hub, accounting for >90% of Value flights. That creates a strong feed network for other members but also (potentially) competition that may be too strong. Members overlap on only 6 routes so far and their combined frequency gives them a scale advantage against non-Value (LCC)s. Although it is premature to evaluate the effectiveness of the alliance (new members will join and existing members will grow) this analysis looks at where there are network opportunities for cooperation.
* Airports most frequented by Value Alliance are not member hubs.
There are services from 3 or more members of the Value Alliance at 15 airports in Asia. This includes Tigerair (TGR) and Scoot (SCT), which have the same ownership, but excludes Cebu (CEB) and Cebgo (SRQ), since (CEB) owns (SRQ). (TGR) and (SCT) are expected to merge, with only one brand surviving.
5 airports have services from 4 or more alliance members. The 2 most popular airports (Taipei Taoyuan (6) and Hong Kong (5)) are not local hubs for the Value Alliance. Three airports have services from 4 Value members: Hanoi, Osaka Kansai, and Tokyo Narita. Only Tokyo Narita is a Value hub (served by Vanilla Air (VNL)), although Osaka Kansai is a growing focal point for (VNL) and in time, will likely become a hub.
Taipei is home to 2 (LCC)s – Tigerair Taiwan (TTW) and V Air (VAX) (but neither is a member of Value (or of U-FLY)). Tigerair Taiwan (TTW) is 10% owned by the Tigerair Holdings but is not a member, and is expected to be wholly under control of the China Airlines (BEJ) Group, once the expected Tigerair (TGR)/Scoot (SCT) merger occurs. V Air (VAX) is owned by TransAsia (FSH) and has no partnership affiliations. TransAsia (FSH), a full service regional airline, is not a member of a global alliance.
It is not without coincidence that the most commonly served airports are in Northeast Asia. Taipei and Hong Kong are accessible from both SEt Asia and northern NE Asia with narrow body aircraft, making the 2 airports accessible for all members. Only Jin Air (JIN) (not an alliance member) is a NE Asian wide body (LCC) operator, so NE Asia’s (LCC)s are restricted from flying deep into SE Asia.
In contrast, SE Asia has 3 wide body (LCC) operators that are belong to an alliance: Scoot (SCT), NokScoot (NSC) and Cebu (CEB). (CEB) can access NE Asia with narrow body aircraft, although it sometimes uses wide body aircraft on trunk/congested routes. There are services from 3 Value members at 10 airports, and all but 3 are Value member hubs.
* Measured by frequency, most services are at Value alliance member hubs.
This analysis next looks at the largest airports in the Value Alliance based on weekly frequencies. This analysis comprises the 21 largest airports (the 20th and 21st largest have the same number of frequencies). The 6 largest airports are all member hubs.
The 4 largest (Manila, Bangkok (DMK), Singapore, and Cebu) are significantly larger than the rest. Of the 10 largest airports based on member frequency, only 2 (Hong Kong and Taipei Taoyuan) are not member hubs.
* Largest Value Alliance airports are dominated by their members.
13 of the region's largest airports have >7 daily flights from alliance members. Each is dominated by its local alliance member. At the 2 largest (Manila and Bangkok (DMK)) the local alliance hub member operates 98% and 94% of all flights by the alliance. In other words, of all Value flights at Manila, Cebu (CEB) operates 98% at Manila, while NokScoot (NSC) and Nok (NKA) operate 94% of all Value flights at Bangkok (DMK).
A Value Alliance Member typically accounts for over 90% of alliance flights at its home. 4 airports are around the 80% mark, while there is no Value Alliance member operating flights at Bangkok (BKK) (they instead operate out of Bangkok (DMK)).
* Value Alliance members overlap on 6 routes.
There is a possibility that the Value Alliance could help (LCC)s gain scale on routes, especially where due to infrastructure constraints ( slots, air traffic, bilaterals) organic growth may not be an option.
In the week commencing June 12, 2016 the Value Alliance members overlap on only 6 routes. This excludes overlap only between Scoot (SCT)/Tigerair (TGR) (owned by the same company and expected to be merged) and Cebu (CEB)/Cebgo (SRQ) (Cebu (CEB) owns Cebgo (SRQ)). (CEB) has the most overlap (4 routes) followed by Jeju (JJA) (3), Tigerair (TGR) and Scoot (SCT) (2) and then Vanilla Air (VNL) (1).
No route has >2 operators. The frequency split varies between relatively even and lopsided. As this analysis is focused on the opportunity to offer more flights, frequency (not seats) is considered. The use of wide bodies at Scoot (SCT), and sometimes Cebu (CEB), would alter a capacity share analysis.
* Value Alliance opportunity to link NE Asia with SE Asia.
The geography of east Asia means that (LCC)s cannot serve the entire region with existing narrow body technology, although (LCC)s in some markets can come close. The final analysis in this report considers the ability of the Value Alliance to link NE Asia with SE Asia, and vice versa.
6 of the members have routes between NE and SE Asia. Vanilla Air (VNL) operates wholly within NE Asia but is examining a Taipei base to use 5th freedom rights to fly to SE Asia. Cebu Pacific (CEB) has the greatest number of flights between NE and SE Asia. This is probably unsurprising given the Philippines' geographical position, which is more between the regions. Tigerair (TGR) and Scoot (SCT) have approximately 10 routes between the regions.
Evaluating the opportunity is complex: routes are often to points where there is no service from another Value member, or there is limited frequency, and it may not enable a same-day connection, or a connection within reason. Some connections would be circuitous. But as noted earlier, it is too soon to evaluate the opportunity for the alliance.
* Outlook: long haul operator, member with central geography, could bring opportunity but also competition.
The Value Alliance faces the same conundrum as full service alliances: adding members brings opportunities but also competition. A member that is more central between the regions (such as in Hong Kong or Taiwan) could enable more links and connection opportunities.
Alternatively, that member may prefer to serve points on its own. (As (CAPA) has previously recorded, some Value members are expected to work with HK Express outside the (LCC) alliance organizations). More long haul operations could mean that an airline gains access to the strong regional hub of a partner in a different part of Asia. Alternatively, this could preclude cooperation between other members.
The opportunities for the Value members today are varied, but they do exist. With time, the synergies within the alliance should become greater. Most critically, this is all being developed with minimal cost, unlike the high joining and membership fees of full service alliances. While the gains may not seem as significant, neither are the costs.
Conclusion: As (CAPA) has previously concluded of the alliance:
* Joining the Value Alliance should be an appealing option for Asia’s independent (LCC)s since the cost and risk of membership are small. At the May 16, 2016 launch event, executives representing the founding members stressed that the concept is to add incremental passengers without incurring additional cost or adding any complexities. The members said that they would not have joined, if they had not been able to retain their business models.
* The main objective is for each member to increase their brand awareness across Asia-Pacific. The main objective is for each member to increase their brand awareness across Asia-Pacific and augment their distribution network through cross-selling. The alliance members pointed out that most of their brands are not well known outside their respective home markets.
* The members expect that the alliance will only generate a small increase in their interline traffic volumes (at least in the initial phase).
* Interline traffic for most members is a very small part of their overall business (for some it has even been non-existent) and most members do not expect that interline traffic will ever account for a large share of their overall traffic.
* The Value Alliance essentially offers its members a nothing-to-lose alternative for attempting to increase transit traffic and attract passengers in new markets who are now flying with other airlines. Even if the alliance only brings each member a +1% incremental gain in passenger traffic, it can be deemed a success, given the limited cost and the simplicity of the new offering.
* Asia’s independent (LCC)s need to evolve and embrace new alternatives if they are to maintain their growth trajectory and succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
February 2017: Tigerair Australia (TAU) has decided to pull out of the Bali, Indonesia, market in response to the latest twist in a regulatory wrangle with the Indonesian government. (TAU) was scheduled to resume operating its 3 Bali routes February 3, but instead announced it had “made the difficult decision to withdraw from flying between Australia and Bali permanently, effective immediately.”
January 2017: 737-8FE (34015, VH-VUD), ex-(ZK-PBG) entered service.
March 2017: News Item A-5: Air New Zealand (ANZ), Qantas (QAN) and 4 other airlines are establishing an association to lobby on common causes such as airport fees, taxes and infrastructure reform.
The new association is called "Airlines for Australia & New Zealand" (A4ANZ) and will be chaired by former Australian Competition & Consumer Commission Chairman Graeme Samuel. Founding members are (ANZ), (QAN), Regional Express (Rex), Qantas’ low-cost carrier (LCC) Jetstar (IMU), Virgin Australia (VOZ) and its (LCC), Tigerair Australia (TAU).
In a press release, the industry group said it would be self-funded and would advocate and pursue reform on public policy issues that impact the aviation sector and broader economy in the region. Airports, taxation and fees, access to efficient infrastructure and broader regulatory reform are cited as key issues.
The (A4ANZ) will be governed by a board made up of a representative from each member airline. A (CEO) will be appointed in the coming months. “Australia and New Zealand must compete for visitors on the world stage against many other attractive destinations. To be competitive we must continue to improve cost and quality in all parts of the travel experience, but we are constrained by a legacy of under-investment and over-recovery at key airports. (A4ANZ) will add its voice to that ambition,” (ANZ) (CEO) Christopher Luxon said.
Qantas Group (CEO) Alan Joyce added, “Airport fees and charges continue to increase while airlines are offering fares at levels significantly cheaper than they were over a decade ago. (A4ANZ)’s goal is to achieve regulatory reform that will promote a competitive and sustainable airline industry in the interests of Australian and New Zealand travelers.”
Rex Executive Chairman Lim Kim Hai said, “(A4ANZ) is critical for regional communities as major airports are all too ready to sacrifice critical regional interests.”
Until 2010, (ANZ) and (QAN) were members of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), which now has 16 members, including Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA), Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific (CAT), Garuda Indonesia (GIA), Japan Airlines (JAS)/(JAI) and Singapore Airlines (SIA).
In February 2016, a new European airline lobbying group was formed (Airlines for Europe (A4E)). Like (A4ANZ), (A4E) brought together a mix of legacy carriers and (LCC)s. Founding members were Air France (AFA) - (KLM), UK-based (LCC) easyJet (EZY), British Airways (BAB)’s parent the International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa (DLH) and Irish (LCC) Ryanair (RYR). 1 year on, the association has grown to 14 members and the Association of European Airlines (AEA) closed down after >60 years of operation.
August 2017: News Item A-1: Virgin Australia (VOZ) has successfully amended its determination with Australia's International Air Services Commission to include its wholly owned low-cost subsidiary Tigerair Australia (TAU) on its USA route authority. 3 other applications to include Tigerair on New Zealand, Fiji, and Vanuatu routes were withdrawn.
"From information available to the Commission, it has reached the view that (TGR) is reasonably capable of obtaining the necessary approvals to operate on the USA route and of implementing the service in accordance with the Australia - USA air services arrangements," the Commission's Determination said.
Tigerair (TAU) currently operates within Australia domestically, with a fleet of 14 A320-200s and 3 737-800s. It previously provided services internationally to Denpasar, Indonesia, but these were suspended in early 2017 over regulatory issues.
(VOZ), for its part, currently offers services from Brisbane International, Melbourne Tullamarine and Sydney Kingsford Smith to Los Angeles International.
December 2017: Tigerair Australia (TAU) commenced the only direct service between Hobart (HBA) and Gold Coast (OOL) on December 7. (TAU), the low cost carrier (LCC) will operate 4x-weekly flights between the ‘Apple Isle’ and the Gold Coast with its A320 fleet. The new services have been scheduled to suit (TAU)’s core market of budget and leisure travellers, with flights departing Hobart at 08:50 and arriving in Gold Coast at 10:20. The return sector leaves Gold Coast Airport at 10:50 and touches down in Hobart at 14:30.
Hobart Airport (CEO) Sarah Renner said: “We are proud to welcome this new route which will increase interstate and international visitation and allow easier access for leisure and business travellers working between Queensland and Tasmania.” Gold Coast Airport (COO) Marion Charlton said: “Tigerair Australia (TAU)’s 1st Australian service was from Melbourne to the Gold Coast 10 years ago, so we’re very pleased to see their commitment to our city bolstered with this new route. The Gold Coast and Hobart are increasingly popular travel destinations and this new, direct link has arrived just in time for the summer peak. This is a welcome addition to (TAU)’s existing Sydney and Melbourne services.”
Click below for photos:
TAU-A320 - 2017-01.jpg
1 737-800 (CFM56-7B) (34013, VH-VUB), 2015-11. 189Y.
2 737-800 (CFM56-7B) (VOZ) LSD 2015-09. 189Y.
1 737-8FE (34015, VH-VUD), EX-(ZK-PBG) ENTERED SERVICE 2017-01. 189Y.
2 A319-100 (V2524-A5), (TCI) LSD.
1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (2982, VH-VPF), RBS AEROSPACE LSD 2009-09. 180Y.
9 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (3275, VH-VNC, 2007-10; 3296, VH-VND, 2007-11; 3332, VH-VHF, 2007-12; 3734, VH-VNH 2009-01; 5218, VH-VNQ - - SEE ATTACHED - - "TAU-2013-07 - TIGERAIR INTRO;" 5900, VH-VNR, 2013-12), FOR TIGERAIR AUSTRALIA (TAU) OPERATIONS. 180Y.
Click below for photos:
TAU-7-CARLY BREAR - 2013-12
CHIN YAU SENG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) TIGERAIR (TGR) HOLDINGS, EX-(SLK) (2011-11).
KOAY PENG YEN, (CEO) TIGERAIR GROUP.
ROB SHARP, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) TIGERAIR AUSTRALIA (TAU).
ANDREW DAVID, (CEO) TIGERAIR AUSTRALIA (TAU), EX-VIRGIN AUSTRALIA (VOZ) (2011-09).
CHRIS WARD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AUSTRALIAN OPERATIONS.
CAPTAIN CHRIS MANNING, SAFETY ADVISOR (2011-07).
Captain Manning, formerly General Manager Flight Operations & Chief Pilot for the Qantas Group, will work with parent Tiger Airlines (TGR) CEO Tony Davis to revamp (TAU)’s safety systems.
Manning has spent more than >40 years in aviation, and is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a former President of the Australian & International Pilots Association. Davis said “Chris is one of the most experienced pilots (FC) and operational advisors in Australia and we are lucky to have him working with our business. Safety will continue to underpin our operations at all times and with the assistance of Chris, I am confident that Tiger Australia (TAU) will operate with the highest levels of safety management across our entire operation, both on the ground and in the air.”
DAVE NARKER, HEAD OF MAINTENANCE.
WARREN GRAVELL, HEAD OF OPERATIONS.
ADAM ROWE, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR (2014-06).
Adam is responsible for all commercial aspects of (TAU), including revenue management, network, marketing, communications, sales and distribution, and ancillary revenue.
MS CARLY BREAR, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, EX-(JT2)/(EZY), RESIGNED (2014-06).
December 2013 Interview by "Routesnews" Lucy Siebert:
Tigerair Australia (TAU) has been going about the business of opening a new base in Brisbane and realigning its network. (TAU) Commercial Director, Carly Brear explained more to Lucy Siebert.
It has been a year of dramatic change for low-cost carrier (LCC) Tigerair Australia (TAU). In that time, a new (CEO), Rob Sharp has come on board, while a re-brand and new livery followed in July. Just three days after the new look was revealed, it was confirmed Virgin Australia (VOZ) would be taking a 60% stake in (TAU).
Tigerair Australia (TAU)’s network too, has been under review. (TAU) most recently announced a new base in Brisbane, where it will base two new A320s from next season. This will see it operating new routes from the Queensland capital to Adelaide, Cairns and Darwin (new routes that have been warmly welcomed as a boost to the state’s important tourism industry).
(TAU)’s base in Brisbane has also seen schedule changes from its partner Virgin Australia (VOZ) there, with the two carriers better aligning their schedules at the airport. Other changes have included a rejig to Tigerair Australia (TAU)’s North Queensland offering. This will see Sydney – Mackay getting chopped in April and replaced by an alternative gateway to the region, Prosepine. Meanwhile, Melbourne – Mackay is getting a frequency increase.
While this is not a huge shakeup, and (TAU) only holds a small proportion of the highly competitive Australian domestic market, (TAU)’s Commercial Director, Carly Brear told "Routes News" the changes are an example of how Tigerair Australia (TAU) is working to right size capacity to demand through careful network reviews. This included a careful look at its North Queensland offering, she said.
“Most airlines don’t announce route exits but it is important to us that people understand that this is demand led,” she said about the changes to North Queensland. “My commitment to the Mackay region is absolutely still there, we have had an incredible amount of support since we went into that market but it is in no-one’s interest for us to operate routes where the demand isn’t there,” she said.
The small airline has faced huge challenges since its start-up in 2007, not least of all its 2011 grounding over safety concerns. It is not a period on which it likes to focus, but its history is also not something it shies away from, Brear said. “While we like talking about the positives, looking at where we have come from, helps us understand where we are heading to. The business was certainly not first choice in market and now our focus network wise and from a commercial point of view is on how do we move into being in a more appealing position. We believe we have come a long way,” she said.
While the re-branding was aimed at communicating how (TAU) has changed since the dark days of 2011, Brear said operational consistency and service delivery are now its core areas of focus. Within the Tigerair team, it is now all about the customer, she added, who are primarily the leisure, budget market. From a network perspective, the focus is on right sizing capacity to demand and utilizing existing airplanes more efficiently.
Brear said on the network front, it will continue to look at destinations where it believes it can stimulate new markets at a budget price-point. She cited Alice Springs in the Northern Territory as an example. “NT Tourism and the government there have been extremely supportive, as have the airport. It is a really good example of a town in its own right and a gateway to some of the best bits of Australia that just weren’t open or accessible,” she said.
While Brear was keen to talk up (TAU)’s effect on tourism to destinations, she was more tempered when it came to talking about growth plans. Tigerair Australia (TAU) has stated it will grow its fleet from its current 11 to 23 by 2018. The first two of those airplanes have already been allocated to the new Brisbane base. “For the size of our business that is significant but for the market, it is still a measured approach,” she said.
It is refreshing to hear Brear’s honest approach to Tigerair Australia (TAU)’s challenges but with Virgin Australia (VOZ) on board, she now believes brighter times are ahead for (TAU).
“The business is in a healthy place from an investment and support perspective. All the changes take time for people to see the benefits of all those things (we always made it clear it wasn’t just us coming out with a new logo, and that we now have to work hard to show we have changed),” she said.
While Brear is relishing the challenge of turning around Tigerair Australia (TAU)’s commercial fortunes, she is no stranger to challenges (she cites having had Ryanair (RYR) as her main competitor for much of her career in Europe as having been a major advantage when she made the move to Australia.
Brear is an aviation professional through and through, having made the leap from airports to airlines when she moved from Leeds Bradford in the UK to then start-up carrier Jet2.com (JT2). “I’ve spent the majority of career at budget airlines, it runs through my blood,” she said.
The Yorkshire-based airline Jet2.com (JT2) had small beginnings but has gone from strength to strength, now competing head to head with the likes of easyJet (EZY) and Ryanair (RYR) on leisure routes to Europe. It also operates seasonal charters to North America and has a successful tour operating division.
From (JT2) Brear moved to easyJet (EZY), joining the famous carrier at a period when it was taking its first steps from a pure no-frills airline to a more consumer-focused carrier, with an eye on the short-haul European business travel market. “I got to see both extremes (building up from day one [at Jet2.com (JT2)]; and at easyJet (EZY) looking at (EZY) when it was 10 years old, extremely successful, but perhaps had lost its locality somewhat. It was seen as a bit of a corporate giant and needed to re-evaluate the network at a local level,” she added.
After a stint in consulting in Hong Kong, she made the leap to Melbourne, where she was tasked with the big job of re-hauling Tigerair Australia (TAU)’s commercial fortunes. At that point, many of the commercial functions were still sitting in Singapore, something Brear believed needed to change. “One of the first things that was transitioned, was network management back to Australia. I felt that was extremely important. It is a very different market, we are a domestic carrier in a very competitive market. I believe network planning needs to sit at the heart of the commercial team in market to truly understand what is driving it,” she said.
“We set about a lot of strategic changes, a complete holistic review of our consumer approach: how we sold, how we promoted to market, the route mix and getting the business to a point where we had a more robust forward network strategy,” Brear adds. From there, it was a matter of frequent, detailed network and business reviews, with a focus on realigning the business and returning it to profitability.
The re-brand, in July of this year, was an important step, said Brear, but nailing the joint venture (JV) with Virgin Australia (TAU) has really ensured Tigerair Australia (TAU) has the financial backing to move forward.
While its partner, Virgin Australia (VOZ) and Qantas (QAN) might be slugging it out on the media over the state of the Australian airline market, Brear said the Tigerair Australia (TAU) team is just happy to focus on its core leisure, or first-time flyer market, by opening up new or under-served domestic markets.
“If someone asked where do we position ourselves in the market, it isn’t even just people who want to travel on a budget (it's people who could never travel before and have never travelled before. Clearly, there are a lot of good budget carriers around us but because of our price point, we tend to stimulate those new markets)” she said.
So while the war of words between the big two Aussie carriers is likely to continue for some months to come, you can expect Tigerair Australia (TAU) to be going quietly about expanding budget travel options for more people in Australia.