Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Australia lifts Tiger Airways flight ban, imposes conditions

CANBERRA: Australia's aviation watchdog lifted its more than five-week flight ban on Singapore-listed Tiger Airways on Wednesday, though an analyst said the airline may need many months to repair the damage to its reputation.

Tiger, one-third owned by Singapore Airlines , is allowed to operate immediately but can only fly 18 flights a day in August and increased operations beyond this month required regulatory approval, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority said on Wednesday, Aug 10.

"Tiger Airways has cooperated with our investigation and supplied all the relevant and required documentation, and information. This was not an easy time for Tiger Airways, yet they did take a constructive approach," CASA Director of Aviation Safety John McCormick told a news conference.

Tiger Airways said it would resume Australian flights gradually from Friday and that it also planned to cut its Australian fleet from 10 Airbus A320 planes to eight, redeploying two aircraft to other parts of the group.

CASA grounded Tiger on July 2, the first time a carrier's entire fleet has been grounded in the country, on concerns that serious safety issues posed an imminent risk to air safety.

"People will be cautious about their operations... (but) if they can maintain clean record for the next 6 months, I think people will come back," said Shukor Yusof, Singapore-based analyst for Standard & Poors.

The regulator on Wednesday ordered Tiger to improve pilot training and proficiency, revamp pilot rostering and fatigue management and revise operational manuals.

It also told Tiger to appoint additional qualified personnel in key positions and amend its safety management system. - Reuters

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