Tigerair Australia ended a five-year absence from the nation’s capital on Thursday when flight TT667 touched down at Canberra Airport.
The inaugural service, operated by Airbus A320 VH-VNR, was greeted with an Airservices Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) monitor cross on the way to the terminal after landing a little after 1900.
The aircraft was on the ground for about an hour before taking off as the reciprocal TT668 back to Melbourne just after 2000.
Cloudy skies and falling rain failed to dampen the mood at Canberra Airport for the resumption of Tigerair flights to the capital, with celebrations and free giveaways in the terminal for passengers on board the inaugural service thanks to the National Zoo and Aquarium and Visit Canberra.
“Tigerair Australia is pleased to have launched the only low-cost services between Melbourne and Canberra, providing over 2,500 additional visitor seats every week through Melbourne and Canberra Airports,” Tigerair Australia commercial director Adam Rowe said in a statement.
“Tigerair Australia has really changed its stripes. With enhanced on-time performance and the lowest cancellation rate of all Australian airlines since the beginning of 2015, Tigerair Australia is perfectly placed to stimulate air travel for the Canberra market and we are confident this route will prove particularly popular among our core group of leisure and small business customers.”
Rowe said the airline was pleased with the early demand for its Canberra flights.
Tigerair is offering a split schedule featuring mid-morning or evening flights depending on the day of the week.
Under previous owners Singapore-based Tiger Airways Holdings, the airline then known as Tiger Airways Australia started Melbourne-Canberra flights in 2008, but the route was dropped after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) grounded the airline for six weeks in 2011.
The airline has since been sold to Virgin Australia and been rebranded as Tigerair Australia.