Tigerair Australia has left the tin shed for a new home at Melbourne Airport.
The low-cost carrier has moved into the newly opened Terminal 4 at Melbourne Tullamarine, which features new technology automated checkin kiosks and bag drop facilities, as well as an expanded departure lounge and more shopping and food choices.
Tigerair chief executive Rob Sharp was at the airport to greet the first passengers through the new terminal when it opened for business just before 0500 on Tuesday.
Sharp said Terminal 4 would provide a vastly improved customer experience in Melbourne, Tigerair’s largest and busiest base.
“The move to our new home here in Melbourne is another significant milestone for Tigerair Australia as our transformation strategy continues to gather momentum,” Sharp said in a statement.
“The new terminal is symbolic of the new Tigerair reflecting a step change from the old terminal with which our customers are familiar.
“With the combination of the new-look Terminal 4 facilities and our roaming check in staff using the Max iPad app, our passengers will be able to check in more efficiently than ever before at Melbourne Airport.”
Melbourne Airport said in a fact sheet Jetstar and Regional Express (Rex) would move into Terminal 4, which has been designed to handle up to 10 million passengers a year, in the coming months.
“Passengers will experience a seamless journey through Terminal 4, which is the first terminal in the Asia Pacific region to open as a complete self-service operation,” Melbourne Airport said.
The departure lounge had enough seating for 1,200 people waiting for their flights and have 30 shops including Desigual, Country Road and WH Smith.
Tigerair had seven of its 13 Airbus A320 narrowbodies based at Tullamarine, with four A320s based at Sydney and a further two at Brisbane.
The airline, which is wholly-owned by Virgin Australia, is taking delivery of a 14th aircraft shortly which will boost its Sydney base to five aircraft.
Tigerair operates about 40 flights a day through Melbourne Tullamarine, including service to Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Hobart, Mackay, Perth and Sydney.
And from March 2016 it will commence international service for the first time with daily Melbourne-Bali, daily Perth-Bali and five times weekly Adelaide-Bali flights.
(Read more about Tigerair Australia in the September issue of Australian Aviation, on sale August 27.)