Tiger attempts to win back trust

Tiger attempts to win back trust
By admin

Tiger Australia has underlined both safety and reliability as its top priorities as it confirmed its operations have returned to pre-suspension levels.

Despite its ongoing expansion, the airline continues to focus on trying to shake negative perceptions caused by historically poor punctuality, a high number of cancellations and a spate of safety concerns which prompted its grounding by the safety regulator in 2011. 

Head of communications, Vanessa Regan, told Travel Today the carrier has since introduced a number of initiatives to improve its reliability.

These include investment in people, particularly in the fields of operations and engineering, along with improved internal systems and processes, and the transition to a new line maintenance provider.

"The whole team at Tiger has been behind a concerted effort to enhance reliability or punctuality performance and we've made great progress over the last year and a half," she said.

Regan referred to figures which showed the carrier had the lowest cancellation rate of all domestic airlines in 2012, and that it came a "very close third" for on time performance.

Tiger's load factor for February averaged 84% across the network, she added.

But although the airline is back to operating around 60 sectors per day, the network is not the same as pre-suspension.

Routes have been tweaked in response to demand, seasonality, changing market conditions industry support, according to Regan.

"We continually review our network in order to ensure we are flying the popular routes that allow us to deliver enhanced punctuality performance," she said.

The airline launches its Melbourne-Alice Springs and Sydney-Alice Springs services this week, following the start of Sydney-Cairns services last Thursday.

Additional new routes are on the cards, Regan confirmed, although she declined to disclose further details.

"We are talking to many tourism and airport partners around Australia about our future plans," she said. "We will announce further network developments in due course."

However, Tiger's well-being, following losses of S$12.9 million (A$9.98m) in its third quarter, could depend on Virgin Australia's proposed acquisition of a 60% stake in the low cost carrier – still pending Australian Consumer and Competition Commission approval.

Meanwhile, the airline remains without a permanent chief executive in anticipation of the deal's completion, having agreed that Virgin Australia will name its next boss if the ACCC grants approval.

Former chief executive, Andrew David, departed Tiger on March 14 to head up Jetstar's long haul operations.



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