Tigerair Australia 737s to get more seats

Tigerair Australia's Boeing 737-800s are getting some new seats. (Tigerair Australia)
Tigerair Australia’s Boeing 737-800s are getting some new seats. (Tigerair Australia)

Tigerair Australia will add an extra six seats to its Boeing 737-800 fleet with the installation of new slimline seats.

The cabin reconfiguration program with the leather seats from Rockwell Collins Interior Systems (formerly B/E Aerospace) is due to begin in March 2018, Tigerair said on Thursday.

As a result, the seat count on the 737-800 fleet will increase to 186, from 180 currently. The cabin layout includes five rows of extra legroom seats at the front of the aircraft that are available for an extra fee.

Tigerair said in a statement there would be “no impact on passenger and crew space and comfort”, with seat pitch, the size of the galley and restrooms remaining the same.

Thursday’s announcement will ensure Tigerair maintains parity with local LCC rival Jetstar in the Australian domestic market.

In May, Jetstar said it would boost the capacity on 43 Australia and New Zealand based A320 narrowbodies by six seats to 186 seats by the end of 2018.

At the time Jetstar said the use of new slimline Recaro seats and the Zodiac Aerospace Space Flex version two lavatory and galley module, which allows for the removal of the existing rear lavatories, had opened up the additional space for an extra row of seats.

The Virgin Australia-owned low-cost carrier (LCC) is in the midst of a three-year transition from Airbus A320s, which have 180 seats, to the Boeing narrowbody that is due to be completed in 2019. Currently, Tigerair has three 737s in its fleet alongside 14 A320s.

While the A320s are slated for removal, Tigerair said it would begin installing equipment to enable passengers to watch movies and television programs streamed to their own devices across all its aircraft over the coming weeks.

The airline said it had signed a content deal with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (TCFF) and Fox Networks Group (FNG), while the streaming technology is being supplied by ViaSat.

An image of Tigerair Australia's streaming IFE offering. (Tigerair Australia website)
An image of Tigerair Australia’s streaming IFE offering. (Tigerair Australia website)

Passengers would be able to watch movies and other programs via the Tigerair Australia app on their mobile device or on laptops for a fee, with movies costing $6 and television shows $2. Music and some destination-based content will be offered free.

A glance through the October program guide shows movies such as Hidden Figures, Snatched and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie are on offer, while the selection of television programs included Empire, Modern Family and Wild Australia.

Tigerair said it would be the only Australian LCC to offer inflight entertainment across its entire domestic fleet once the installation program was complete.

“The planned partnership with Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Networks Group open up a new world of entertainment for our customers, whilst our new leather, slimline seats will in my view, provide the most comfortable low-cost economy seats in the sky,” Tigerair Australia commercial director Andrew Maister said in a statement.

“These products complement each other really well, enabling our customers to enjoy a meal/drink and superior entertainment product inflight more comfortably than ever before.”

Comments

  1. john doutch says

    Yuck, those yellow headrests!! Does the photo make it look worse, or does it look much better “in the flesh”?

  2. Rob Blunt says

    Tigerair said in a statement there would be “no impact on passenger and crew space and comfort”, with seat pitch, the size of the galley and restrooms remaining the same.

    HAHAHA, so these are MAGIC seats that dont reduce anyspace whatsoever? LOL. What a joke.

    Isnt it funny that after millions that has been wasted on the Bali and 737 debacle, the ceo’s get a payrise and the passengers get smaller seats! lol.

    Tiger will NEVER be a serious competitor to Jetstar! Virgin are in too much debt, are too inefficient and quite frankly not really focused on keeping good staff; And dont get me started on Tigerair’s problems!
    Although Tigerair is better feel to the crew on the aircraft than Jetstar.

  3. Nick says

    Glad there adding entertainment, though wouldnt pay more for Virgin Australia once they do. There basically going to be the same airline except Virgins A330’s

  4. ABH says

    Packing em in! Should have been an oily sardine colour for the seats instead of yellow and black. It looks for all the world like a school bus!

  5. JR says

    Good luck finding an overhead spot for your carry on with the number of people they’re cramming into these things.. especially if they charge extra for checked bag. Urgh flying is a pretty dismal experience these days.

  6. Jack says

    It is probably the photo and most likely look better in real life. I have travel on a Tiger 737 with yellow seats and they don’t look ugly.

  7. Derek Ferguson says

    They should not be allowed to use these seats. Have they tried, tested and had approval for evacuation. Extra pax slimmer seats. In the event of a ditching wet or dry, can they still get pax out ? Don’t think so.. where’s the evidence?

  8. Steve says

    @Peter

    Well said.

    @Derek Ferguson

    Mate the 737-800 series is certified to hold 189 passengers. Regardless of the colour, fabric or the slim seats. All tested and approved. I’m pretty sure Ryanair run the full 189 on their machines.

    Cheers.

  9. Sim Jenkins says

    Another retrograde move from Tiger. First by going to the older designed 737 from a more modern A320 and now comfort saving seats. Such a shame, Tiger had a lot of potential.

  10. Bob says

    @Sim Jenkins

    Potential? They didn’t go from an A320 to a BAe 146. They changed platforms for their own efficiencies through the Virgin Group. No doubt a monetary decision regardless of your preference of type..

    An older design?

    The base fuselage is obviously an extension of the original 737-100 from the 1960’s (itself a by product of the 707, original 717/KC-135 design) The “NG” series 737 (600- 900ER) were designed well after the A320 series. So, apart from Fly by wire, they are just as current, modern and in some configurations more powerful than said Airbus. Some might say they can’t tell the difference and don’t care about it.

    Comfort saving seats?

    Like anything, you get what you pay for. You want extra roomy seats? Buy your ability to sit in the exit row, cough up for VA or QF J class or recline in Business class on your local train services. Tiger and other airlines are businesses and THEY ARE NOT ANSETT. It’s 2017, you cannot operate in that way anymore or toward the future. Bums on seats, freight in holds and flog the machines. Welcome to the airline game, circa 2017. The comfort of your bum is really not considered. Get a solid grip on yourself.

    You probably have absolutely no understating of aviation operations nor the economics of said operations, nor where from the Australian Airline industry has come from to where it is now. No doubt the “clientele” of the relatively new LCC’s are somewhat different to that of the AN/TN days (cough), but these airlines and their continued presence has had a positive effect on our local airline scene. Amongst other things…

    I feel compelled to finally get on a Forum
    and speak my mind about the subject, I get sick to death of people on this forum complaining about the standard of air travel in this country. Case in point, @Sim Jenkins complaining about Go Cat going from an A320 to a 737. Wow. Get over it.

    Similar story to that I hear frequently about folks bagging out QLink and Virgin about their ATR and Dash 8-400.

    People, for those that do not know. Up until the VERY late 1990’s, Sunstate Airlines (the Queensland part of QantasLink for those that are ignorant) used to still operate the Short 360-300 on their “milk run”. These flights would operate (with some fluctuation) BNE-BUD-GLA-ROK-MKY-PPP-TSV-CNS. And back…
    They travelled at 10 000/9000 feet due to being unpressurized. Moons before the 300 series’s, they ran the 100 or the 330. You were lucky if you got air conditioning. To add insult to airsickness, you were paying nearly double what you are to fly today on a Q400 that gets you there, say a GLA-BNE sector, in nearly half the time in far superior comfort. The props sync automatically people, so that “noise” you are hearing is completely fine and no where near the rattle or near defending drone of the previous types. At least you can talk to your seat row companions in the 400/ATR.

    You all have no idea how good we have it nowadays.

    Get some knowledge and learn some history about the Australian Airline industry before you go slamming about what we have now. Without it you are embarrassingly misinformed.

  11. Brad says

    @Bob Bravo!!!!

    People want the world but won’t pay for anything close to it. I’d fly Tiger over Jetstar any day. The service is just as good and always cheaper. Plus they regularly (last time I checked) beat Jetstar in the BITRE on-time stats etc.

  12. Scott says

    @Bob
    Has it right the public and social media is the avenue for unrealistic expectations these days.
    Want more leg room pay for the 34″ pitch seats, what food/drinks/entertainment/FF points/status/lounge fly Virgin.

  13. Craigy says

    @Bob

    There is a mindset amongst the travelling public who expect full service travel but only expect to pay LCC prices or paying for discount airfares and expecting to be upgraded to business. I have felt like saying the things you have said on many occasions but decided not to.

    The Sunstate milk run example you used with the Shorts 360, Out of interest, when was that? When I did ATC in Townsville in the 80s, I only remember Air Queensland who used F27 to Western Queensland, twotters to Dunk, Cairns and Mackay. The F27 was replaced with an ATR42 and Jestreams for Western QLD. The Jetstreams were totally unsuited as on a regular occasion, a baggage plane followed.

  14. Mike says

    @Bob On the heels of @John’s GLT correction, I should mention Bundaberg is BDB.
    I don’t recall BUD/Budapest being on Sunstate’s route map.
    (Apologies in advance. We avgeeks are sticklers for correct airport codes as I hope are the folk directing our luggage when we fly!!!)

  15. Bob says

    @John

    @Mike

    Spot on guys. I do get my ICAO/IATA mixed up. It’s been a while since I’ve done ground stuff.

    @Craigy

    It would have been from about 93/94 to I think 2000 when they were retired. I’m pretty sure however the Dash would have been used predominately and I think prior to the Short retirement, they were relegated to Maryborough, Bundy (BDB!!!) and Hervey Bay. So not much to Cairns.

  16. JR says

    @ Bob

    While I agree with you mostly, to be fair the Sunstate Shorts aircraft were a massive step backwards from the TAA and Ansett Fokker Friendships I used to fly on the “milk run” in the 1970s.

    And BTW the milk run also used to include Maryborough in those days too.

  17. Lechuga says

    I love the complaining, what can you expect from a low cost carrier? If you want a bit more space and comfort then go on a regular airline.

  18. Rob Blunt says

    @Bob

    So the travelling public should accept worse cramming and inferior comfort because CEO’s want to make more bonus’s?

    Understand, you would be the first to complain at something being of inferior quality if you paid for it and it was not to standard. Just because its a “seat” doesn’t mean that us ‘public joes’ have to constantly be demeaned into the ‘ignorant’ or its ‘cheap so accept really uncomfortable conditions’ arguments.

    Remember when flying was actually a classy affair? Although times have changed, the leaches have well and truly latched onto the jugular of user pays theory to the extreme! Ok if thats the argument, simply then fares should be the same price no matter what, then your argument stands; but if prices go up what do the travelling public get for the extra? NOTHING.

  19. Bob says

    @JR

    Yeah that’s right JR.

    My point was that over the years on that particular route, they down graded the equipment at various times. And when that happened, the paying passengers had no choice but it cop it. And, the price that was being charged. As you can probably attest to, those prices were ludicrous compared to what we are paying now on far better product.

    @ Rob Blunt

    Truely, if you believe that the reason they are putting more seats in an aircraft that is designed to hold more is for a CEO to get a bonus, you are having a great big laugh.

    What I’m saying is the airlines today are operating on a different playing field.

    They have to contend with more competition that is still going (albeit both majors own the LCC’s, but those that don’t know don’t care and will fly whoever is cheapest). Others have tried (Compasses, Impluse, East West, Strategic, Alliance back at the start), but they were never able to stick on their own. But because we now have 4 major airlines in Australia, the “average joe” has more choice on who he or she flys with.

    Yeah, I do remember when flying was a classy affair. My point is, it’s not anymore. Accept it.

    You’re not paying the price of a ticket that you would have been when flying was “classy”. It’s a form of mostly cheap transport that is safe and much better than catching a train. The standards have dropped, but so have the prices!

    We are simply not paying enough on LCC’s to moan about accepting uncomfortable seats. You aren’t getting the point that air fares are significantly cheaper than they were years ago. Air fares will go up, that’s the nature of running the beast.

    And have a think about the profits the airlines are making. Are they all kicking goals? God no. Perhaps the idea behind putting more seats in the aeroplane isn’t to enrich the CEO, or upset you as a “public joe.”

    Maybe it is to lower the seat per mile cost of the machine, make it more productive and as a result return more profits to the business so that it can buy more aircraft, deploy them on more routes and employ more people.

    The airlines have to make money. An airline is not a non for profit community service public transport agency. It’s a business! Out there to make money. And I’m telling you something right now, aviation is one bloody hard place to do it.

    You are far too precious if you can’t put up with the seat pitch on any aircraft that operate in Australian skies today over any route. We don’t have the excellent service, incredibly competent and skilled air and ground crew of Ansett or Australian Airlines anymore.

    Nor though, do we have the prices that used to be charged.

    What we have is modern aircraft, not much legroom, no food at a very reasonable price. How many of us have now been able to see loved ones scattered around, go to job interviews or have holidays thanks to LCC’s?

    Those things may not have been financially possible for people back in the duopoly days.

    As I said before, if you don’t like what a LCC has to offer then pay extra for a full fare with another carrier that has the seat pitch you desire. If you still think you are hard done by, catch the big red bus or hire a car.

    Prices go up for them too….

  20. JR says

    @ Rob Blunt
    Your argument has one giant flaw. You’re paying a tiny fraction of the price today that you used to pay when flying was a “classy affair”. A fraction.

  21. Scott says

    Ah the glory days of QLD RPT is the 1980s. My memories from Rocky:
    Sunstate shoeboxes flew Gladstone/Bundaberg/Brisbane and twotters from Rocky to Great Keppel
    Air Queensland ATR42s flew Brisbane/Thangool/Blackwater/Emerald
    TAA/Ansett flew most Brisbane/Mackay services via Rocky (DC9s/B737s) occasional B727 (only 3 flights a day each)
    Piccolo Aviation did a run to Dysart/Middlemount and Moranabah in PN68s. Partenavias for goodness sake!

  22. ian says

    wow what a bunch of unintelligent comments.

    If seat pitch remains same for most, then leg room would actually INCREASE. It seems most here don’t understand the term seat pitch at all. There needs to be a measure of legroom, but seat pitch isn’t it.

    Also, there’s only a 3.3% increase in number of seats, so finding overhead bin space will be virtually no different. We need Tigers of this world to keep good ol Qantas fares reasonable. Qantas is a very high cost airline, but I’d never pay to fly them. Would much rather fly Tiger (as Don Chip – founder of the Democrats, once said, it keeps the bastards honest.

  23. john says

    pitch doesn’t equate to legroom. By using slimline seats you can actually increase legroom & at same time decrease pitch.

    Some basic understanding of seat pitch is needed.

  24. Arnold Blums says

    @Bob

    Well put and 100% correct. Thank you.

    @Rob Blunt

    I remember paying $2000 in to fly to Europe – in 1983! SYD-MEL return trips were around $500 at that time. What are we paying now? If you add CPI what should we be paying? Wake up mate. Going to a record shop and buying an LP for $20 used to be a classy affair. Going to a library and borrowing a book used to be a classy affair. If you want classy affair now, pay $800 for Qantas Club membership and only fly full service airlines with extra leg room. This is not about CEOs pay packets, or are you one of those who believes in free university education and complete redistribution of wealth? I hear that train services in NOKO run on time….

  25. Student Pilot Reid says

    It is very satisfying to see other viewers on this page with informed, and presumably well experienced, views of the Australian Aviation market.

    Airlines operate on a very slim margin, due to high operating costs, and any opportunity to increase that margin is taken. Not because of greed but because of the inherent vulnerability of having very little ‘wiggle room’ when times are tough (i.e. Airlines are very, very sensitive to fuel costs).

    If anything, the public should be rejoicing at the existence of LCCs. They make aviation accessible to many people who would have otherwise been financially excluded. In the the old saying “you get what you pay for”. If you pay $85 for a one way ticket YMML-YBBN, you will expect exactly that. That is the service that you are paying for, an aviation transportation with no frills-attached.

    I urge anyone who wants to attack airline decisions such as this to consider this: the decision wasn’t made by a fat, greasy CEO with a Cuban cigar hanging from his lips. It was made by a board of highly intelligent, highly informed, and highly motivated individuals who want to deliver a Low Cost Service.

    Cheers.

  26. Bob says

    @ian

    @john

    Cheers for the lesson.

    Even with my lack of intelligence, I don’t think it really changes my final statement or argument in general.

    My point being all along that no matter the pitch (legroom?, colour of the seats??) it’s still cheap.

  27. Teddy says

    @Bob

    Anyway you look at it, it is a shame that there is no room for nostalgia.

    There was something infectious and exciting about air travel in the 1950s-80s – even for those in cattle class. So much so that Fantasy Flights with companies like East-West Airlines allowed the novice and/or the tragic to soak up the environment, and get a little tipsy on the lifestyle that airlines proffered.

    That excitement has waned, and the post 9/11 environment has served to hasten the general distaste for the industry.

    And whilst it’s business and progress, and some things have improved, in some way we’re all a little poorer for it……

    You know eventually if you take all the love out of the industry and corporatize everything, there might not be many professionals left to service that industry…. but that’s irony for you.

  28. seat guru says

    I wish someone would draw a diagram to show what seat pitch is.

    The length of the seat front to back & the thickness of the seat back, as well as the angle, make a huge difference to legroom.

  29. each extra seat important says

    why didn’t they go for 189 seats in total ? Read somewhere once that Southwests profit came down to 1 seat per flight.

  30. Scott says

    @Bay pilot
    Look back through recent articles, Qantas recently added an extra row to their B737’s about a year ago, Jetstsr did it about 6months ago to their A320’s, so choosing them over tiger won’t held you in this seating issue.

  31. Craigy says

    @ Baypilot

    Qantas added the additional row by reconfiguring the rear galley and toilets. Same with Jetstar. So its not the same as simply adding another row.