Virgin Australia Holdings has concluded its 60 per cent acquisition of the newly re-branded Tigerair in what represents the final step in Virgin’s claim for greater market share across regional and domestic markets.
The deal, which was announced on October 30 last year, will see Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti become chairman of Tigerair to lead the low-cost carrier’s revitalisation.
“The acquisition of 60 per cent of Tigerair Australia enables Virgin Australia to re-enter the budget travel market segment,” Borghetti said. “We are very pleased to partner with Tigerair in Tigerair Australia and we look forward to working together to expedite its growth.”
Tigerair CEO Koay Peng Yen said: “We can now look forward to a new beginning for our operations in Australia. We are confident that our partnership with Virgin Australia will yield a stronger Tigerair Australia.”
Tigerair Australia’s CEO Rob Sharp said the transaction would better place Tigerair to ensure it has “the right scale to compete effectively”.
“Our aim is for Tigerair Australia to become a sustainable and respected budget carrier in Australia”.
Tigerair will retain its own brand and operating certificates. On announcing the deal Borghetti said as majority owner Virgin would seek to grow Tigerair’s A320 fleet from the current 11 aircraft to a planned 35 aircraft by the end of 2018.
Last financial year Tigerair recorded a 10.8 per cent improvement in operating results during 2012/13, but still recorded an overall loss of S$69 million.