Thursday, August 11, 2011
Tiger Airways Returns to the Skies
Tiger Airways leaving the Apron, the first time since July 2
Who said Tigers cant fly?
After a grounding that lasted six weeks, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has given Singapore’s budget carrier the green light to return to Australian skies.
Tickets are back on sale and Tiger Airways flights are resuming, starting with a Melbourne to Sydney service at noon.
But the beleaguered airline’s return to the skies comes with conditions: it is limited to 18 flights a day –- down from the pre-grounding total of 60 -- and its 110 pilots have been put through simulator training. Some of them failed and will have to undertake more remedial training.
It doesn’t stop there: training, safety, records, appointments and maintenance will all be overseen by the aviation authority.
''Any failure to comply with these conditions will be taken very seriously,'' CASA safety director, John McCormick, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
''On some flights, our flying operation inspectors will be in the cockpit, observing the performance of Tiger's crew."
He added that he’d now be happy for his family to fly Tiger Airways.
But for Tiger, things are tough. While their services may now be deemed safe, the metaphorical boat is leaking.
They lost A$18 million locally in the first quarter of the year. The grounding cost an estimated A$12 million, plus A$13.7 million in tickets unsold and refunded. Throw in another couple of million in operational costs and you have a wounded tiger.
Tiger Australia’s new chief executive, Tony Davis, said he wanted to get “Tiger up to full strength again.''