Tigerair Australia presses on with direct focus

By admin

Tigerair Australia has no immediate plans to distribute its low cost products and ancillaries via global distribution systems, despite a recent deal between Tigerair’s Asian carriers and Travelport which opens them up to the trade.

Chief executive Rob Sharp admitted that the trade is not a significant focus for the carrier with direct website bookings continuing to be its principal distribution channel as it forges its “own destiny”.

“We're not rushing into new partnering arrangements but if discussions occur it will be exploratory and it will be up to us,” he said. “Just because Tiger Holdings enters into an arrangement, it doesn't automatically flow down to us.”

Retaining its independence in the wake of Virgin's acquisition of a 60% stake in the carrier is also a priority.

Sharp revealed the two carriers are working to ensure they "don't trip over each other" with distribution to remain distinct.

“We have totally different models, separate teams and I don't envisage that changing otherwise you risk undermining the model,” he said. “We've always got an eye on staying true to that low cost model because we need to be the lowest cost operator in the market to have a sustainable future.”

Nonetheless, it is capitalising on the benefits of the partnership in order to maximise both the leisure and business markets, with joint fuel arrangements already yielding some financial gain.

The synergies are also helping Tigerair boost its customer proposition – a major part of its efforts to reposition itself in the eyes of the Australian public.

“If do find ourselves in a disrupt situation, and we can't get passengers onto other Tigerair flights, we always have the option of reaccommodating them on a Virgin flight which historically wasn't available and makes a big difference to delivering on our customer proposition,” Sharp explained.

Although he conceded work still needs to be done, he highlighted recent successes such as rising satisfaction scores, good social media feedback and its recent customer excellence award from the Customer Excellence Institute as encouraging signs following its rebrand as Tigerair in July.

“We knew we couldn't just click our fingers and suddenly turn things around – the brand is really critical and we're building that reputation,” he said. “I suspect its a 12 to 18 month journey.”

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