The third budget carrier to hit Australian shores, Tiger Airways follows the no-frills business model pioneered by Virgin Blue in Australia and Ryan Air in Europe. Tiger’s focus on low prices has made it the fastest-growing carrier in the domestic market; the airline has carried almost four million passengers around the country since its launch in November 2007, with more than 80% flying on fares lower than $100.
In this time, the Tiger network has expanded across the country, with domestic flights now available to 14 destinations including all capital cities and the regional centres of Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Alice Springs, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. The airline runs its domestic operations from bases at Melbourne Tullamarine, Adelaide and Melbourne Avalon Airports.
Tiger uses Darwin and Perth airports as launch pads into Asia, with direct flights to Singapore and connecting flights to 21 destinations within a five-hour radius of Tiger Airlines’ international base at Changi Airport. It was here, in 2004, that the budget carrier was first launched by Singapore Airlines to become the country’s largest low-cost airline.
Thanks to an open-skies agreement between Singapore and Thailand, the latter country is Tiger’s most popular Asian destination, with routes to Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi and Hat Yai. Tiger also flies to China, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Tiger operates a single-model fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft, all of them less than three years old. All aircraft are single-class economy and have 180 seats.
If cost is your biggest consideration, Tiger delivers on its promise of cheaper fares. Like all budget operators, the airline charges for additional extras, but getting extra baggage allowance - or picking a seat with more legroom - is no problem at all; these can be purchased online at the time of booking.
For those willing to travel light, 7 kg of hand luggage is included in the ticket price. Refreshments available for purchase on board include instant noodles, soups and sandwiches, coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol. An in-flight video player is available for $15.