Tig­erair pulls out of Bali

Travel Bulletin - - STATE OF THE INDUSTRY -

Vir­gin Aus­tralia’s strat­egy to di­rect its low-cost Tig­erair Aus­tralia off­shoot to lower-yield­ing leisure routes hit a sig­nif­i­cant speed bump last month af­ter a dis­pute with In­done­sian au­thor­i­ties ul­ti­mately led to a de­ci­sion to with­draw Tig­erair from the Aus­tralia-bali mar­ket. An­nounced with a fan­fare about 18 months ago, the ser­vices in­volved re­brand­ing ex­ist­ing Vir­gin Aus­tralia 737 air­craft, with Tig­erair also util­is­ing ex­ist­ing ca­pac­ity al­lo­ca­tions on the In­done­sia route pre­vi­ously held by VA. The ser­vices op­er­ated from Ade­laide, Perth and Mel­bourne to Bali – but a reg­u­la­tory glitch saw the flights sud­denly stalled in Jan­uary as ne­go­ti­a­tions were un­der­taken re­gard­ing an is­sue with the Tig­erair AOC. At is­sue was ap­par­ently the sta­tus of the ser­vices as char­ters, rather than reg­u­lar sched­uled flights which re­stricted the sale of one-way tick­ets. Ac­cord­ing to Tig­erair Aus­tralia, a reg­u­la­tory so­lu­tion pro­posed by In­done­sian au­thor­i­ties would have taken at least six months to im­ple­ment, and would com­pro­mise its abil­ity to of­fer bud­get air­fares to trav­ellers. “Pro­vid­ing a re­li­able, low-cost ser­vice is crit­i­cal for Tig­erair Aus­tralia and our cus­tomers, and there­fore our only op­tion is to with­draw from Bali fly­ing al­to­gether,” con­cluded the car­rier’s ceo Rob Sharp.

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