Tiger Airways’ network still growing in Singapore; Kochi flights resume as 20-strong fleet now serves 26 destinations

Tiger Airways “Bye-Bye Budget Terminal Sale” marks the closure of Changi’s low cost facility which first opened in 2006.

Tiger Airways “Bye-Bye Budget Terminal Sale” marks the closure of Changi’s low cost facility which first opened in 2006. But, rather than rejection, the move signals the airport’s deeper embrace of LCCs as new no-frills Terminal 4 will be much larger – initially capable of handling 17 million when it opens in 2017.

Tiger Airways launched low-cost flights from Singapore in September 2004, initially to just three destinations in Thailand; Bangkok, Hat Yai and Phuket. Since then the airline has flown, at one time or other from Singapore, to some 40 destinations across Asia with its fleet of 20 180-seat A320s. Last week the airline resumed flights to Kochi in India, bringing the number of destinations served non-stop by Tiger Airways from Singapore to 28. This includes Clark (Philippines) and Medan (Indonesia) which are operated respectively by partner airlines SE Air and the recently re-launched Mandala.

Tiger Airways Singapore 2004-2012 Routes and daily departures by season

Source: anna.aero LCC history database

Unlike most European LCCs the average weekly frequency for routes has actually grown over time from less than five flights per week initially, to an average of 12 flights per week last summer. Bangkok with 37 weekly departures and Kuala Lumpur with 30 are by some distance the airline’s two busiest routes. A total of 13 different country markets are served by Tiger Airways from Singapore this summer.

Country Destination (WF)
Australia Perth (7)
Bangladesh Dhaka (6)
China Guangzhou (10), Haikou (3), Shenzhen (5)
Hong Kong Hong Kong (17)
India Bangalore (4), Chennai (11), Kochi (4), Thiruvananthapuram (3), Tiruchirapalli (7)
Indonesia Jakarta (14), Medan* (7)
Macau Macau (11)
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur (30), Kuching (9), Penang (8)
Philippines Cebu (3), Clark** (7), Manila (10)
Sri Lanka Colombo (3)
Taiwan Taipei (7)
Thailand Bangkok (37), Hat Yai (8), Krabi (7), Phuket (14)
Vietnam Hanoi (5), Ho Chi Minh City (20)
Source: Innovata for August 2012
WF: Weekly Frequency
* Operated by Mandala Airlines (Tiger Airways Indonesia)
** Operated by SE Air

One notable feature of the network scheduling is that while on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays the airline operates between 80 and 90 daily departures, on Tuesdays and Thursdays this falls to less than 70, and just 59 flights depart on Wednesdays. With a further 36 A320s on order the airline will have the resources to grow as the easing of local bilaterals open up more opportunities.

Singapore Airlines still biggest shareholder and biggest competitor

Singapore Airlines is still the airline’s biggest single shareholder though its shareholding has reduced from 49% initially to just under 33% at the end of the 2011 financial year. According to OAG data Singapore Airlines has around a 33% share of seat capacity in Singapore with Silkair and Tiger Airways both having around 7% each. Singapore Airlines competes directly with Tiger Airways on 13 of its routes, while Silkair competes on several others.

On the airline’s busiest route to Bangkok it faces competition from Jetstar Asia, Singapore Airlines, Thai AirAsia and Thai Airways, while on the Kuala Lumpur route passengers have a choice of AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Malaysia Airlines, Silkair and Singapore Airlines.


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