On August 5th, 2020 Bain Capital the new owner of Virgin Australia Group announced that due to the impact of COVID-19, the Tigerair Australia brand would be discontinued. This announcement was part of a larger restructure of Virgin Australia which signals a clear focus on domestic 737-NG operations.
Virgin Australia Strategic restructure
The key points of the Virgin Australia restructure are:
- Reduction in cost base to meet sector uncertainty and COVID-19 market conditions
- Securing approximately 6,000 jobs when the market recovers with 3,000 roles impacted
- Simplified all-Boeing 737 mainline fleet and the retention of the regional and charter fleet, but removing ATR, Boeing 777, Airbus A330 and Tigerair Airbus A320 aircraft types
- Long-haul international flying important part of plan but suspended until global travel market recovers
- Tigerair Australia brand discontinued with Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and necessary support maintained to provide option for ultra-low-cost operations when market recovers
- Continued commitment to regional and charter flying.
Tigerair had already ceased operations on March 25th, 2020 after Virgin Australia was placed in administration. Tigerair commenced services in the Australian domestic market on 23 November 2007. Virgin Australia bought a 60% stake in Tiger in mid-2013.
In October 2014 Virgin Australia reached agreement with the Singapore-based parent company Tiger Holdings to sell its remaining 40% stake in the carrier and to take full ownership of discount carrier Tigerair Australia.
Tigerair Australia’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and the resources necessary to support the AOC will be retained to support optionality to operate an ultra-low-cost carrier in the future when and if the domestic market can support it.