Tiger Airways to fly out of Avalon

Tiger Airways will begin flights from Avalon Airport later this year, the airline announced today.

The news came as the airport announced a multi-million dollar expansion of facilities to cater for more flights. Jetstar already flies from the airport.

Tiger Airways managing director Shelley Roberts said the announcement offered proof that the airline intended to grow and expand in the Australian domestic market.

Linfox Airports executive chairman David Fox said the move would likely lead to cheaper air fares.

“This is an enormous boost for the airport and the travelling public. Avalon's low-cost model is in sync with Tiger's low-cost model and this will result in more competition which tends to lead to lower prices," he said.

In a statement, rival Jetstar said it welcomed the arrival of a second airline at Avalon, saying greater use of the airport's infrastructure would help keep costs down and fares low.

Tiger Airways Australia is a subsidiary of Singapore-based Tiger Airways.

It burst on to the domestic aviation scene in November 2007, offering cut-price fares and a single aircraft type — Airbus A320s. The airline will add two more A320s, to be based at Avalon, to its fleet of nine aircraft currently operating in Australia.

As of January this year, the airline had carried 3 million passengers, and the fleet has grown to nine Airbuses, servicing 14 domestic ports.

In March, the airline group's chief executive, Tony Davis, announced Shelley Roberts, was leaving Tiger Airways Australia, to be replaced by Crawford Rix, who is currently the managing director of UK low-cost carrier bmibaby.

No date has been set for the handover.