Grounding of Tiger Airways could be extended

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Car Rental News - 11/07/2011


The safety grounding of Tiger Airways Australia could be extended, says that country’s aviation safety body.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, CASA, says it is intending to extend further the grounding of flights by Tiger Airways. CASA says it wants the planes to remain on the ground until 1 August.

CASA says it needs the grounding extended because its investigators will not be able to finish their work before the first five-day suspension has ended. Tiger Airways, meanwhile, said the head of its Australian operations, Crawford Rix, has resigned.

Domestic Australian flights by the budget carrier were first grounded on 2 July, because of concerns about safety. In a statement, Tiger Airways said it would not oppose CASA’s extension.

The budget airline also said it has asked Tony Davis, chief executive of parent firm Tiger Airways Holdings, to assume control of operations in Australia. Mr Davis has been heading the airline’s negotiations with CASA since its fleet was initially grounded.

The Australian operations of Tiger Airways were grounded following an incident just over a week ago when one of its planes came in too low during approach to an airport. CASA says the airline has been subject to a safety review because of past safety lapses.

Tiger Airways, which is partly owned by Singapore Airlines, operates a variety of flights around the Asia-Pacific region. Operations outside Australia have not been affected by the grounding.

An extension to the grounding will not only cost the carrier a substantial amount of money but it has led to questions over the long-term viability of Tiger Airways operations in Australia. Industry analysts say the carrier may need to review how it operates.

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