Tigerair Australia opens base #3; Melbourne and Sydney command over 60% of weekly seats
Being temporarily grounded in July 2011, and then having restrictions imposed on its operations by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority lasting until October 2012 could have slain lesser beasts, but Tigerair Australia is roaring back to growth, following the opening of its third base in Brisbane on 11 March. The Australian LCC is part of a wider group of airlines, which also comprises of Tigerair Singapore (formerly Tiger Airways), Tigerair Philippines (formerly SEAir) and Tigerair Mandala (formerly Mandala Airlines), the latter operating in Indonesia. Collectively, the four airline’s network extends to over 50 destinations across 14 countries in the Asia Pacific. Today, Tigerair has a fleet of 52 Airbus A320-family aircraft, averaging less than three years of age, with 13 allocated to the Tigerair Australia fleet.
Tiger Australia currently flies domestic sectors only, with its main operating bases being at Melbourne and Sydney, which currently control a combined 60% of its seats. However, as the LCC continues to spread its network, the importance of these two bases has been reduced, as they were responsible for 65% of seats in the same week 12 months earlier.
Prior to the airline’s grounding it did have operational bases at Adelaide and Avalon (which serves the south Melbourne and Geelong catchment, and is close to famous Great Ocean Road featuring the 12 Apostles landmark), which have subsequently been removed, although a growing presence is evident at Adelaide, which has grown its share of Tigerair Australia’s weekly seats from 4.0% last March, to 7.4% this year — the most significant increase in the airline’s network. Total seats have grown by 14% to nearly 73,000 year-on-year, due in part to the addition of two new network points over the last 12 months — namely Alice Springs (launched 9 April from Sydney and Melbourne) and Sunshine Coast (launched 27 March from Melbourne).
Top 12 routes account for 88% of flights
Unsurprisingly, Tigerair Australia’s Melbourne to Sydney operations, which is one of the busiest city pairs on the planet, can be found leading its top 12 routes. Even so, when the airline’s schedule data for 18-24 March this year is compared to the same week last year, the LCC has marginally reduced its capacity on the route from 53 weekly flights to 48. The top 12 routes constitute 88% of the airline’s weekly flying, whereas last year Tigerair Australia only operated 12 city pairs (it now operates 18 city pairs). Melbourne has the lion’s share of the top 12, with Sydney and Brisbane taking up the remaining five places (highlighted in light green).
In comparison to weekly data for last year, the LCC is offering an additional 50 weekly flights (404 vs 354) in the week of 18-24 March 2014. Adelaide to Melbourne has seen the largest spike in weekly flights over the past 12 months, with a 21% increase from double-daily to 17 times weekly, whereas the Melbourne to Hobart city pair has witnessed the greatest decline, from nine weekly to daily (-22%). The bottom third of top 12 routes are all new entrants in the last year.