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Tigerair returns to the capital

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 22, 2016
Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron and Tigerair Australia chief executive Rob Sharp. (Canberra Airport)
Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron and Tigerair Australia chief executive Rob Sharp announce the start of the low-cost carrier’s Canberra service. (Canberra Airport)

Tigerair Australia is planning a return to Canberra with a daily service linking the nation’s capital to Melbourne.

The low-cost carrier made the announcement at Canberra Airport on Monday, with Tigerair chief executive Rob Sharp flanked by Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

“We have witnessed overwhelming demand and are proud to provide the only low cost services between Canberra and Melbourne,” Sharp said in a statement.

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“We are confident the new route will prove popular for our core market of budget and leisure travellers.”

The first flight was due to take off on December 9, with flight times and fares to be released later in the week.

Under previous owners Singapore-based Tiger Airways Holdings, the airline then known as Tiger Airways Australia started Melbourne-Canberra flights in 2008, but the route was dropped after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) grounded the airline for six weeks in 2011.

The airline has since been sold to Virgin Australia and been rebranded as Tigerair Australia.

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Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron said the return of Tigerair to Canberra would help boost tourism in the ACT and give the territory’s residents a LCC option for travel to the rest of Australia.

Tigerair will be the only LCC at Canberra Airport, which is served by Virgin, Qantas and FlyPelican.

The airport is also counting down to the start of international flights out of Canberra, with Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) four times a week Boeing 777-200 Singapore-Canberra-Wellington service due to begin on September 21.

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9 Comments

  • Anil Kattula

    says:

    This is going to be difficult for Tigerair as Qantas has most of the public service/corporate market tied up. May work if passengers allowed into Virgin’s lounges.

  • Chip

    says:

    It’s a win for leisure travelers to Melbourne, any flight from Canberra we pay through the roof and business travelers won’t touch Tigerair anyway. There should be sufficient demand even without lounge access.

  • john

    says:

    Anil Kattula – there are other passengers apart from corporate/public servants.

    Flights in & out of CBR are the most expensive in the country based on distance & once more, there’ll be reasonable fares.

  • john

    says:

    with CBR & MEL having so silly curfew, think Tiger should operate some flights to NZ from CBR even if red eyes to NZ, departing at say 2359. Would give good aircraft utilisation, even if only late on Fri & Sat nights.

  • Craigy

    says:

    Now to the future. The background graphic shows an A320, the model is a B737.

    It will be interesting to see how many services are in the ‘daily service’

  • Steve

    says:

    Joel there is no curfew at CBR or MEL. And Singaoore airlines is about to operate services to NZ

    Anil – being the only low cost carrier to / from CBR I don’t think they will struggle to fill their flights. And as for offering lounge access. That is a silly suggestion – if that is important to the customer they should be flying qantas or Virgin

  • Mark

    says:

    If the flights are cheap enough and reliable, why would the non corporates not use them?

  • Lachlan

    says:

    Many contractors work in Canberra and this would provide them the opportunity to fly home more often.

  • Anthony Byrne

    says:

    I don’t think LCC travelers are too concerned with lounge access. With the two big airlines flying in to major cities, a low-cost airline operating limited services, the presence of a regional carrier such as FlyPelican, and the introduction of international flights to Singapore and Wellington, all that’s missing is a link to the nation’s southern state, Tasmania, which Virgin Australia pulled out of between Canberra and Hobart, due to seasonal decline. Newcastle has a population of 250,000, which is connected to Canberra by a 19-seater Jetstream 32 turboprop by FlyPelican 13 return flights a week. Similarly, Hobart has a population of 220,000. My best bet would be for FlyPelican to operate the route. Virgin’s ATR 72 was just too large to sustain low passenger numbers on the 2 hour 10 minute route. In short, these are exciting times for Canberra and Canberrans.

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