Saturday, November 26, 2016

Tigerair (Tiger Airways Australia) Celebrates 9 Years of Flying - And Has a New Radio Callsign "TiggOz"

Tigerair commenced operating domestic flights in Australia as Tiger Airways Australia on Friday 23 November 2007 when flight TT7402 departed their Melbourne (Tullamarine) base for the Gold Coast.  Since then, the airline has opened a second base in Sydney in July 2012 and a third base in Brisbane in March 2014.

In October 2012, Virgin Australia Holdings purchased 60% of Tiger Airways Australia from parent company Tiger Airways Holdings (Singapore).  In July 2013, the airline re-branded from Tiger Airways to Tigerair and the joint venture between Tiger Airways Holdings and the Virgin Australia Group was launched.  Finally, In October 2014, Virgin Australia purchased the remaining 40% meaning that Tigerair is now a fully owned subsidiary of Virgin Australia Holdings.

The inaugural Tigerair service to Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport

In March 2016, Tigerair announced that will start flying international services from Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide to Bali in Indonesia using three (with a fourth due for delivery as a spare) re-painted and re-configured Boeing B737-800 aircraft obtained from parent company Virgin Australia.

The first Tigerair B737-800 rolls out of the paintshop at Townsville Airport

Currently, Tigerair operates 14 Airbus A320-232 aircraft to 12 destinations around Australia - including Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport from and back to Sydney which was launched in 2014 - and 3 Boeing B737-800 aircraft to Bali in Indonesia.

Over the years, Tigerair / Tiger Airways Australia has also operated services into both Rockhampton and Mackay Airports.  Services to CQ Airports commenced in 2007 with direct flights from and back to Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport.  Services to Rockhampton Airport from and back to Brisbane were then launched in 2010.

Tiger Airways Australia at Rockhampton Airport

During 2010, services to Mackay Airport were temporarily suspended but resumed in late in the year with flights now operating from and back to Melbourne (Avalon) Airport.

Tiger Airways Australia at Mackay Airport

Ultimately though, maintenance issues for their aircraft, rising oil prices, and the closure of Rockhampton Airport due to flooding in early 2011, saw Tigerair / Tiger Airways Australia completely withdraw from both Mackay and Rockhampton during 2011.

In December 2012, and after a massive public campaign, Tigerair (still as Tiger Airways Australia) re-commenced flying into Mackay Airport with services from and back to both Sydney and Melbourne (Tullamarine).  These services were soon ceased but re-instated in 2014.  Eventually, services to Mackay Airport from and back to Melbourne (Tullamarine) remained until September 2015 when Tigerair finally withdrew from the sugar city for good (or for the time being!).  The airline has also never indicated an intention to return to Rockhampton.

The final ever Tigerair service at Mackay Airport (for now?!?!)

Finally, in July this year, Virgin Australia and Tigerair announced that the entire A320 fleet will be replaced with Boeing B737-800s by 2019.

And effective Sunday 30 October, Tigerair changed their callsign from "Go-Cat" to "Tigg-Oz".

Photos taken by Dave  ©

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