Tiger Airways has been forced to ground all of its domestic Australia flights until 9 July. The massive disruption comes after an aviation safety watchdog found that the low-cost carrier had twice flown under the minimum permitted altitude. The ban, which came into force on Saturday, is expected to affect approximately 35,000 passengers. The airline’s Singapore services remain unaffected.
“We don’t have confidence in the ability of Tiger to continue to manage the safety of their operations,” Peter Gibson, a spokesperson for Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), was reported saying on Saturday.
Tiger, which is Australia’s fourth largest carrier, is the first airline in the country to have its entire fleet grounded. It currently operates a fleet of 10 aircraft to 12 domestic hubs. Tiger has pledged to refund all affected passengers, while domestic rivals Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia have all said they will help passengers hit by the grounding of Tiger’s services.
“Tiger Airways continues to cooperate fully with the industry regulator and we wish to reassure the Australian public that safety has and will underpin our operations at all times,” a Tiger Airways statement said. “Having mitigated immediate passenger disruption to the best of our ability, Tiger Airways’ next priority is working with the safety regulator to achieve a satisfactory outcome to this investigation at the earliest opportunity.”
Tiger Airways is 49% owned by Singapore Airlines.