Does The Tiger Airways Ban Spell The End For The Budget Airline In Australia?

Does The Tiger Airways Ban Spell The End For The Budget Airline In Australia?

All domestic flights on Tiger Airways have been grounded until at least July 9 after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) cited repeated concerns over its ability to obey safety regulations. Affected passengers are being offered refunds or flight credits — to be honest, I can’t imagine too many passengers choosing to take the credit option.

Tiger has long “enjoyed” a somewhat iffy reputation amongst local passengers, with the worst timeliness record of the major local carriers and frequent stories about luggage issues. It only got around to adding online complaint forms in May this year.

I’ve only ever flown Tiger once and managed to do so without drama, but I suspect that even if Tiger manages to convince CASA it can play by the rules, it will have an uphill battle convincing people to use its services again. What do you think?



  • “even if Tiger manages to convince CASA it can play by the rules” is the key, I think – this is drastic action that makes it hard to see them return to the skies, let alone worry about getting passengers back.

  • I have no doubt that CASA have completely genuine safety concerns, but it’s been rumored that the 2 largest domestic Airlines have both had “show cause” notices dropped on them in the last few years, but they managed to talk their way out of a shutdown. Is it possible that Tiger’s small size and less established political relationships played a part in their fate here?

  • My husband was due to fly out on the last flight for July 1st, at 12am. All passengers were seated and waiting for takeoff when the annoucement of a cancelled flight was made.

    Just before this happened a strange noise was heard near the wings, a chugging of the hydrolics struggling to start.

    It’s all a blessing in disguise, in my opinion as worse things could have potentially happened. Disregard for safety standards so often and easily span over all areas. If a carrier is willing to risk crashing into another plane’s flight path by flying too low (what, to save on fuel?) what else are they willing to skimp on??

    Tiger, – never again.

  • I don’t see why people still fly with them.

    They’ve always had a terrible reputation, cancelling flights out of the blue, dodgy service and everything. I people I went to high school with bitch about it all the time on Facebook, but they don’t go with a different airline instead…

    Must be the “cool” thing to fly with Tiger these days. Lol @ idiots who do this.

  • but what about qantas they arent much better on there international routes …. cmon who really wants to turn around and make emergency landings because of faulty wiring? Or A ruptured turbine casing on a Qantas 747 flight from San Francisco to Sydney causes a mid-air explosion and forces an emergency landing at San Francisco.
    hey the list goes on for that airline and they have a BIG reputation to uphold like Anthony has mentioned Tiger is small and doesn’t have the political ties that the other bigger airlines have

    Read more:

    • Man or man what a media bash up, I hope you are not serious and suggesting that an airline can have 0 faults and/or issues? If so I would suggest you never fly with any airline ever again as what you are asking for is impossible!

      No matter what the carrier they are always going to have issues, the fast majority of issues the media has tried to ramp up against Qantas have nothing to do with them and are based on issues out of their control, (eg, plain design oversights, environmental factors..etc..etc) It’s not possible to change/inspect ever last millimetre of wiring or electronic components on a plane.

      Qantas is one of the very few airlines in the world to have no catastrophic accidents and that’s a hard records to keep going given the number of flights they do each day it’s a very impressive to have under their belt so they can’t be all that bad surely?

      I’m no huge fan of Qantas and personally find their staff/air hostesses to have a bit of an attitude at times, don’t get me wrong I have had great service as well but more than often when compared to some Asian based airlines the attitude is there so that would be my only complaint against them and in the scheme of things it’s a minor issues comparing it to safety of others.

  • I hope the Asian Tiger Airways (which they claim is a different airline and entity) will go down their Aussie counterpart! Their maintenance is far worse – and quite frankly Im surprised that the singapore authorities have not shut them down yet.

  • Tiger Airways has kept the Australian domestic airline industry competitive. I wonder how much the other three airlines will jack up their prices if Tiger has to leave.

  • I think the thing to remember here is while it’s generally an accepted statistic that flying is safer than driving – the problem is when aircraft suffer a failure, it tends to have major consequences; where as the majority of car accidents aren’t serious.

    Further, car accidents are usually caused driver error or an environmental factor; where as a mechanical failure seems to more often be the cause with air travel.

    Because of the above points, I think its ludicrous to say “No matter what the carrier they are always going to have issues”, as if its an excuse. ALL carriers, domestic or international, should be striving to ensure a perfect safety record. While Qantas are yet to suffer a “catastrophic accident” as you put it, they have had a string of mechanical failures in close sucession that wasn’t typical for them prior to overhauling their maintenance practices over recent years.

    Regardless of the airline, I have no issue with any/all that suffers from repeated issues and accidents attracting scrutiny from the media or safety bureaus.

    • Sam: it’s an urban myth that the “flying is safer” statistics are invalid because of the higher incident of death per incident in aircraft. When I used to teach risk analysis, I looked into the real stats and it still held up (by an order of magnitude) on death rates alone. It gets even more impressive when you factor in incidents and kilometers traveled, too. But motoring “journalists” like the repeat the old canard, and although I wish they’d stop, I’m not holding my breath given the usual quality of that species.

      Furthermore, since about 1980, you really can’t say that most passenger airline incidents (of airline-class aircraft) have been caused by mechanical failure. If you look at the incidents in the last three decades and:

      1. Remove hijacking and terrorism losses
      2. Remove incidents of war (eg. KAL 007 or IR655) and blockade running (eg. South African 295)
      3. Disregard the Chinese and former Soviet airlines, whose maintenance regimes are not world standard

      What you find is that losses due to mechanical failure are relatively uncommon, and that human factors are major contributors to almost all incidents. That is not to say that mechanical failure doesn’t occur – QF32 being an obvious example – but deaths as a result are rare.

      Sadly, AF447 is a good example of this reality. Although there was a mechanical issue (iced pitot tubes causing incorrect airspeed readings to the pilots), the black box does seem to show that the pilots basically flew the thing into the sea, doing exactly the OPPOSITE of what they should have been doing in the situation they were in. It will be interesting to see the final outcome of the analysis.

      And BTW, even if you INCLUDE the three things mentioned above, the stats still look pretty good.

      • I stand corrected – more than happy to have flaws in my arguments pointed out when you can back it up with fact. As I side note to my original post, if the general safety of flying is an “urban myth” I would be VERY interested in seeing some hard statistics of safety of flying vs cars.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!