Tiger Airways to pull out from Sri Lanka this September

  Published : 12:32 am  July 1, 2013  |  9,862 views  |  9 comments  |  Print This Post   |  E-mail to friend
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By Cheranka Mendis
Singapore’s leading low-cost carrier Tiger Airways has decided to terminate operations in Sri Lanka from September, a year after its launch.
Citing commercial reasons, the airline has made the decision three weeks ago and has already started conferring with customers that have booked for the period after.
MAC Aviation Services Ltd., the General Sales Agent for Tiger Airways, noted that there would be no flights from Sri Lanka after 30 August. A total of 700 passengers have made bookings for the period between August and December 2013.
MAC Holdings Aviation Division General Manager Thisum Jayasuriya told the Daily FT that the key reason for pulling out was the yield.

Even though flights from Sri Lanka were full, money gained per person was not viable for the airline to operate further, he said.
Having launched on 31 May last year with much fanfare, the airline operates four flights a week and has transported approximately 35,000-40,000 passengers within the year. From Colombo key destinations for Tiger Airways are Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Bali and Indonesia.
“In terms of the numbers, we have achieved our targets,” Jayasuriya said. “The carriers are 180 seaters and comes half full from other destinations. We only have to fill 50-60% of the aircraft, which we have done successfully.”
With the 80-85% load factor the carrier runs on, the airlines should ideally be able to breakeven and make profit. However, two key reasons prevent this, he said. “This is a price sensitive market. Major airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Singapore Airlines, etc. are selling low cost fares in this market, over and above the onward passengers and cargo handling. This makes it hard for budget carriers to operate.”
The Sri Lankan aviation system currently has no concessions for low-cost airlines, which also makes it harder for those carriers to compete among the bigger names, he said. Mentioning this as the second reason, Jayasuriya noted that airport and aviation ground handling charges were the same for all airlines. “Right now it is not viable for low-cost airlines to operate from Sri Lanka. I believe these were the same reasons for AirAsia to pull out as well.”
Low-cost airlines currently in Sri Lanka include Air Arabia, flydubai, SpiceJet, Air India Express and the State-owned budget carrier Mihin Lanka.
Jayasuriya said: “If the Government can come up with a system that considers giving concessions for budget carriers, it will encourage those present to stay on as well as lure in other names to come in and serve our market.”
For those who have pre-booked for the months after August, Tiger Airways has decided to give a full refund to passengers, or if they wish, they could even change the ticket and bring it forward to a date before the termination of services with no additional chargers.
Tiger Airways operates a unique low-cost business model that involves removing non-essential costs, ensuring that customers pay only for what they actually need, while maintaining the highest standard of safety, security and punctuality.
One of Asia’s leading low-cost carriers, Tiger Airways aims to build its fleet to 68 aircraft by December 2015. Operating from Singapore and Australia, Tiger Airways’ network extends to over 30 destinations across 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region.


9 Responses to “Tiger Airways to pull out from Sri Lanka this September”

  1. robert on July 1st, 2013 1:19 pm

    Hard luck, srilankan are rally an unfortunate set of people consist of bad polticos, bad religious leaders, bad educationalists, media without any freedom, full of corruptions, full of rouges, commission earners, rapers, drug dealers, thugs etc etc..
    Earlier the best and low cost airline Jetstar is no more to unlucky srilankans. Now Tiger..

  2. Rocket on August 1st, 2013 8:12 pm

    robert, without barking with nonsense set of words please read the article first. They are pulling out because of their own faults. These Tiger Airways is not a real budget airline. When you calculate all their reservation, luggage blaa blaa charges, total fare becomes higher than major airlines. So they are cheaters. Better to facilitate some reputed airlines without giving these cheap robbers a chance.

  3. nic on August 16th, 2013 8:59 am

    robert your an untravelled, ignorant fool. Take abook and read it. Get to know this world you live. I feel sorry for people like you.

  4. Ravindra Jayaratne on August 28th, 2013 12:13 pm

    I do wonder… how we become an Aviation Hub in the region, if the policy makers thinking is like this? We have to approach more Airlines for our targets for high number of Torist arrivals. It may be budget tourists or others, but firstly, we need to do some investment. Government, please welcome these Budger carriers first and establis our contry as a Torist Hub. For that, please grant concessions for this like low-cost airlines. Once established, we don’t want to worry as we can achive our expectations on tourism targets.

    Without arriving them to Sri lanka, how we can become as an Aviation Hub? Our policy makers, please GO and SEE LCC Terminal ai Kuala Lumpur……!

  5. Chandimani on August 28th, 2013 9:52 pm

    Excellent comment Ravindra….

    Not only LCCT in Kuala Lumpur Airport, see Singapore Changi Airport Budget terminal. Dom Mueng Airport in Bangkok……. All of those countries are DEVELOPPED countries, but still they offer concessions to approach more and more Budget Airlines.

    We must know that in a bank, higher percentage of total deposits are from (very) small deposit amounts, but high number of depositors.

    Atleast by now, our political leaders must think about our country’s future and our children’s future. I am so sad feel about my children’s future. Ayyooooo…..

  6. LAB on September 2nd, 2013 8:39 am

    it is one of the best low cost airliners. Where there are low cost airliners there will be tourist. Here in Sri Lanka, We have a bunch of people get something for them not thinking about the country. They want keep market for the loss making Sri Lankan and Mihin at the cost of our economy. I being a Sri Lanka never want to travel in Sri Lankan airline unless they give a fare fair. Sometimes their fares are higher than Singapore airline. Why I should spent my hard earn money to save a sinking ship? To level officials suck the airliner..

  7. Rushan on October 25th, 2013 1:44 pm

    It’s a shame. I used to travel with tiger to Sri Lanka and it was a great value for money service.
    Hopefully things will change with the New Sri Lankan airport to accommodate budget airlines in the future.
    Sri Lankans should learn from countries like Thailand and Indonesia on how tourism should be done, What’s value for money for a tourist, and how important the foreign currency flow is to resurrect a Nation.

  8. sasa on November 26th, 2013 5:49 pm

    we needed tiger air. it goods for us.not so expensive.we cant spend lots of money to travel other airlines.

  9. roshan on December 2nd, 2013 6:08 pm

    rocket, nic: Looks like you two are total fools. You have no idea how budget airlines operate throughout the world and how they help tourism.

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