Tigerair Australia Airbus A320-200

Richard Butler | Ch Aviation | Aug 17th 2018

Virgin Australia Holdings is considering deploying its Tigerair Australia (TT, Melbourne Tullamarine) unit on South Pacific routes, a filing with Australia’s International Air Services Commission (IASC) has revealed.

In an application dated August 10, the firm requested the IASC’s assistance in transferring route authorities allocated to Virgin Australia (SE Asia) (formerly known as Pacific Blue Airlines (Australia)) to Virgin Australia International, effective October 1, 2018.

The holding requested that its low-cost unit, Tigerair Australia, also be authorized to use the capacity allocations. The determination variations requested include those for:

  • the Cook Islands where according to the ch-aviation schedules module, operators in the market, at present, include Air New Zealand;
  • New Zealand where operators in the market include Air New Zealand, AirAsia X, China Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Emirates, LATAM Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Australia International;
  • the Solomon Islands where operators in the market, at present, include Nauru Airlines, Solomons – Solomon Airlines, and Virgin Australia International;
  • Tonga where at present, Virgin Australia International is the only carrier in the market;
  • Vanuatu where Air Vanuatu and Virgin Australia International are the only carriers present.

Virgin Australia had sought last year to include Tigerair on its New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu routes only to withdraw the application.

Tigerair is currently deployed on domestic Australian services. It briefly operated international flights to Denpasar in Indonesia in 2016 but was forced to terminate them in early 2017 after authorities in Jakarta objected to its use of wet-leased B737-800 equipment.