Tiger Airways Australia has officially shut down after parent company Virgin Australia’s new owner Bain Capital decided to cease the brand.
Australian budget airline announced its shut down on September 10, 2020, straight after its parent-company Virgin Australia’s decision to close the subsidiary amid COVID-19 pressures. The carrier has emailed its customers informing them of the airline’s shut down on the same day.
“There is no denying these are tough times for everyone in the travel and tourism industry,” deplored the airline in the official announcement. “After nearly 13 years of operations we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the Tigerair“, revealed the company.
According to the budget carrier’s statement, customers who had bought tickets for Tigerair flights in advance, will be able to use their travel credits on flights operated by its parent company Virgin Australia.
Earlier in August 2020, following Virgin Australian being sold, new owner Bain Capital announced the brand would be retired for a while waiting until new customers to occur and revive it.
In a statement released on August 5, 2020, Virgin Australia’s spokesman said that “the Tigerair brand will be discontinued in the market as there is not sufficient customer demand to support two carriers at this time“.
However, the Tigerair Australia’s Air Operator Certificate will remain in Virgin Australia’s hands to support optionality to operate an ultra-low-cost carrier in the future if needed.
Australian air carrier had financial troubles even before the pandemic as it has not made a profit since 2016, Virgin Australian Group’s annual reports showed. As the airline was considered loss-making for a while, in December 2019 there appeared early speculations about the plans to shut down the carrier. All doubts of the closure became more realistic on March 25, 2020 when Tigerair suspended all its operations due to COVID-19 pandemic.
According to PlaneSpotters data, Tigerair Australia entered the Australian domestic airline market in 2007. Before the pandemic hit, the company was operating six Boeing 737-800 and eight Airbus A320-200.