Tiger Airways Australia has announced that it will commence flying from Melbourne Tullamarine to Cairns from September 16.
The airline will operate daily services on the route, with launch fares starting from $98 one way. Tiger’s commercial director Steve Burns said, “We’re thrilled to be flying to Cairns, providing another new destination and new catchment area in the far north of Queensland, with access to consistently the lowest airfares.”
Cairns Airport CEO Stephen Gregg welcomed the announcement, saying, “We are very pleased to see a positive result to our negotiations with Tiger Airways and welcome them as the newest airline to come to Cairns Airport and as one of our key low cost aviation partners who will bring a new section of the market to Cairns.”
Tiger will be competing directly with Jetstar and Virgin Blue in serving the route, which traditionally has been seen as a leisure market. According to BITRE data for the year ending February 2010, Melbourne-Cairns passenger traffic decreased by 21.5 per cent compared to the previous corresponding 12 month period.