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Tigerair Australia to serve Bali from March 2016

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 7, 2015

Virgin will transfer three 737-800s to Tigerair for international services. (Seth Jaworski)

Tigerair Australia will introduce a new fleet type and commence international operations from March 2016 when it begins flights to Bali just in time for the Easter holidays.

As part of wider changes to Virgin’s loss-making international network, Virgin will hand over the Adelaide-Bali, Melbourne-Bali and Perth-Bali routes to its wholly-owned low-cost unit Tigerair from March 23 2016.

However, Virgin said it would maintain its services to Bali from Sydney, Brisbane and Port Hedland.

Tigerair will operate to Bali with a fleet of three all-economy Boeing 737-800s that will be sourced from the Virgin fleet. Currently, Tigerair has an all-Airbus A320 fleet of 13 aircraft.

The three 737s will remain on Virgin Australia International Airlines air operator’s certificate and have Virgin pilots flying the aircraft alongside Tigerair cabin crew.


The 737-800s will be reconfigured into a one-class layout with 180 seats, have the galleys changed and repainted into Tigerair livery. Standard economy seat pitch will be 31 inches, Tigerair chief executive Rob Sharp said on Friday, while there will also be three extra legroom seats at the front of the aircraft with between 34- to 39-inch pitch, along with two exit rows available for a fee on top of the base fare.

Sharp said he was confident Tigerair would be able to compete with the likes of low-cost carriers Jetstar and Indonesia Air Asia X, who use widebody Boeing 787-8 and Airbus A330-300 aircraft, respectively, on the Melbourne-Bali route. Garuda also serves Perth and Melbourne from Bali.

“We make our decisions based on what we see as the underlying consumer demand and the demand for travel to Bali still remains strong,” Sharp said.

“We believe with the runs that we are getting on the board domestically – great customer feedback – that we can take that model and now grow it into short-haul destinations.”

The previously flagged move of Tigerair into the international market was confirmed at Virgin’s full year results announcement on Friday.

“The Tigerair Australia brand will launch in the short-haul international market with Denpasar (Bali) as its first international destination to enable the group to better cater to the changing dynamics in the region,” Virgin said in a statement on Friday.

“The Virgin Australia Group today announced plans to optimise its international network to deliver improved fleet utilisation and meet customer demand on key trans-Tasman and short-haul international routes.”

Virgin chief executive John Borghetti said Tigerair would be a much more price competitive operator on that route than the full-service Virgin.

And Borghetti flagged more split operations in the international markets, with both Virgin and low-cost Tigerair flying to the same destinations as occurs currently in the Australian domestic market.

“For example on the Gold Coast we use both brands and you will see us do that more and more,” Borghetti said told reporters at Virgin’s full year results presentation in Sydney on Friday..

“You’ve seen us do it domestically but you will see us doing it international where there are two different segments of the market that appeal to two different types of models.”

Virgin said Tigerair posted an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss of $8.6 million between October 17 2014 and June 30 2015, which was an improvement of $42.7 million from the prior year.

Virgin said Tiger was “on track to achieve full year profitability for FY16”.

The performance of Virgin’s international routes declined further in 2014/15, with its overseas flying suffering an underlying EBIT loss of $68.9 million in the 12 months to June 30 2015, a decline of $22.8 million from the prior corresponding period.

Revenue from its international operations fell 3.3 per cent, while capacity was reduced by 0.4 per cent.

“Increased competitive pressure, particularly in the South East Asian and long-haul markets, constrained yield recovery during the financial year,” Virgin said in a statement.

However, Virgin said some of the previously announced changes such as the introduction of business class across the Tasman and cutting the Melbourne-Los Angeles route had started to turn the ship around.

Virgin said members of its Velocity frequent flyer program would be able to redeem points for travel on Tigerair services to Bali.

Meanwhile, Virgin said it would drop Phuket from its international network, with the last flights to operate on January 31 2016.

Borghetti said the Phuket market was not strong enough and not big enough to sustain the direct service.

On the plus side, Virgin is adding extra flights to New Zealand, Fiji and the Solomon Islands from October.

“These increases represent more than 52,000 additional seats on trans-Tasman and Pacific routes during the 2016 financial year,” Virgin said in a statement.

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Comments (15)

  • Greg


    I will never fly with them again there customer service is disgraceful no wonder they are losing money

  • James



    When was the last time you flew Tigerair/TT? They have come a far way from when they were Tiger Airways.

    Try it out again and you may be surprised

  • Greg


    Tried to fly with them on Tuesday night from Gold Coast back to Sydney don’t want to bore you with details will stick with my previous comment will never use them again and my business will never use them again

  • franz chong


    If this happens Adelaide to Bali I will fly Jetstar if I go again or fly Domestic Virgin to Melbourne and Continue Onwards with Garuda.It’s times like this that make me miss the good old days of Qantas ADELAIDE VIA SYDNEY TO DENPASAR.

  • Cuan James


    Most people who have a bad experience with tiger have only themselves to blame unfortunately. Check in on time, have the correct baggage allowance and do the right things you’ll almost always have a good flight. Further than that, they are a budget airline after all, you cant expect the same service as Qantas or Virgin Aus.

  • Greg


    Sounds like you have shares in the company or work for them either way
    Will never fly with them again

  • James



    Get over yourself or do you work for Qantas group ?

    Tiger has newest fleet in Australia by far.

    Only question with the 737-800 pilots. Who employs them Tiger ? At Tiger wages ? Or Virgin wages ?

  • Ian Mackintosh


    I’ve done 4 flights with them and the only coplaint was the terminal at Tulla whimay have been improved now.

  • scottk


    I’ve no shares in in Virgin/Tigerair, ( actually 1000 QF), but Tiger are not what everyone seem to say, Perspective is what’s needed. Same as Scoot and AirAsia, Guess what? They ain’t Emirates!

  • Swannie


    For what Tiger is, its fine. The only thing I look out for, beyond safety, is the on time performance and TT are making leaps and bounds in this area.

    As a LCC they push their fleet like no other and when one breaks it has a knock on effect. I have flown TT out of economic need a couple of times recently and they were efficient and pretty much on time..

    All this = happy customer!

  • Lisa


    I’ve only flown with Tiger once. I have nothing against LCCs, but in this instance both of my inbound and outbound flights were cancelled (separately).

    A month ago, I was due to fly SYD:MEL from Saturday, coming back next day (Sunday). First, inbound flight was cancelled on Friday evening so I dealt with call centre to get that changed (automated text message had a wrong dates btw). Next morning at 6am, (at the day of departure) my outbound flight was cancelled with a message to see ground staff for details. Luckily the call centre opened just before it was time to leave for the airport and I managed to rebook for the next available flight (5hrs later) so you can imagine how upset I’d have been going to the airport for nothing.

    So in summary, I nearly missed the event I was flying to Melbourne for and I had to deal with call centre not once but twice + had to deal with additional last minute stress. Based on this personal experience I will not fly with Tiger again…

  • James



    It’s very easy for an airline to manipulate on time performance. Airlines can pad their timetables, so they can take off late & still land early.

  • Raymond


    Tiger left me stranded overnight once through no fault of my own. They had overbooked the flight and it was the last one out for the day. Wouldn’t let me fly on any of the Virgin flights departing that night either. All the check-in guy could do was say sorry multiple times. My choices were to miss work and fly with them the next day (with some token-effort compensation), or forego my fare and pay through the nose for a last-minute flight with another airline. Not to mention, it was not at all a great experience with Tiger.

  • PhilC


    The news about extra legroom is certainly welcome Tiger Pitch was the final deal breaker for me

  • tahni


    This is just stupid. As a travel agent we constantly here about tiger cancelling flights with no rebookings. I love flying virgin but this just drops them in my books

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