Now Virgin Australia-controlled Tigerair Australia has announced significant expansion plans with the creation of a new operating base in Brisbane, the acquisition of two new Airbus A320s and the launch of four new routes.
Tigerair says 150 new jobs will be created with this expansion, 120 of which will be in Brisbane, where its new base is due to become operational in March and early April next year. Two A320s will be based in the Queensland capital, allowing the airline to launch services from Brisbane to Adelaide, Cairns and Darwin. New Adelaide-Sydney flights have also been announced.
“This is a significant milestone for our airline, which is embarking on its future Australian expansion as planned,” Tigerair Australia CEO Rob Sharp said.
“Budget travel options at Brisbane have lagged behind other major airports and our announcement today is designed to address this. Historically, budget travel has accounted for only 19 per cent of Brisbane’s overall airport capacity, against 33 per cent and 26 per cent respectively in Melbourne and Sydney.
Sharp said that once the new base is operational Queensland will account for 59 per cent of Tigerair flight capacity.
Tigerair has also announced the introduction of automated bag drop facilities at Brisbane Airport, technology it says it is “committed” to rolling our across its network.
Coinciding with Tigerair’s commencement of Brisbane-Darwin flights, Virgin Australia has announced a retiming of its own Brisbane-Darwin schedule. With effect from April 15. The revised flight will depart Brisbane at 9:30am arriving into Darwin at 1:20pm, with the return leg leaving Darwin at 2:05pm arriving into Brisbane at 6:15pm.