Aussie safety officials ground Tiger Airways

Aussie safety officials ground Tiger Airways

Domestic travellers in Australia have been facing disruption following the grounding for safety reasons of the local arm of Singapore-based low cost carrier Tiger Airways.

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority said Tiger's domestic operation posed a "serious and imminent risk to air safety" after it failed to address concerns about pilot training and maintenance raised in March.

The authority is considering whether to seek a court order to extend the flight ban imposed on Tiger, which ends on Saturday July 9. Tiger has said it is aiming to resume services as soon as possible and stressed that its Singapore services continue to operate normally.

“Having mitigated the immediate passenger disruption to the best of its ability, the next priority for Tiger Airways Australia is to work with the CASA to fully address their concerns,” the airline said.

“The company reassures its customers that safety has been and will continue to be of paramount importance.”

Tiger in Australia operates ten Airbus A320s and accounts for an estimated 5%-6% of the Australian domestic airline sector. Group president and chief executive Tony Davis has been instructed “to focus on assisting Tiger Airways Australia to resume operations as soon as possible,” the company said.

The grounding will cost the carrier, which is 33% owned by Singapore Airlines, an estimated Aus$2 million a week. Tiger competes with Qantas and Virgin Australia in the Australian domestic market with a business model based on other no-frills airlines such as Ryanair.

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