Tigerair has been forced to halt flights between Australia and Denpasar after Indonesia suspended the budget carrier following claims it breached its licence conditions.
Scheduled departures between Bail and Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne were cancelled yesterday and this morning, leaving hundreds stranded in Australia and Denpasar.
Tigerair’s parent company, Virgin Australia has reportedly plans to step in and operate two flights from Bali today to assist in returning stranded passengers to Australia. Friday morning flights have been cancelled, but the remaining five flights to and from Bali tomorrow are under review.
It is reported affected customers yet to depart Australia are eligible for a full refund.
According to the ABC, The Department of Transport in Indonesia has accused Tigerair Australia of breaching its licence conditions, with accusations surrounding its ticketing arrangements.
The government officials claim Tigerair operates charter flights and should not be issuing one-way tickets, and all ticketing should be controlled by Virgin Australia instead. The breach is against Indonesian regulations.
“We will not hesitate to give sanctions and suspend the operation of foreign airlines which violate the flight regulations in Indonesia,” a statement released yesterday by Indonesia said.
The ABC reports Indonesian aviation expert Gerry Soejatman saying Tigerair Australia either knew it was breaching the rules or had been given bad advice.
“This isn’t the first abuse of charter flights into Bali by a foreign airline,” Soejatman told the ABC.
“Tigerair’s claim that this is a new requirement by the Indonesian regulator is laughable.”
Tigerair’s Australian domestic flights are not impacted.