Singapore’s Tiger Airways plansto launch a new domestic Australianairline to compete with local carriersQantas and Virgin Blue.
Tiger Airways, a low-fare airline partlyowned by Singapore Airlines, said it wasseeking regulatory approval to establisha third domestic airline. The carriermodels itself on Irish no-frills carrierRyanair with a strategy of undercuttingrival airlines with cheaper fares.
"Fares are too high in Australia.We see the opportunity to deliver consistentlylow fares on all our routes,"chief executive Tony Davis said in astatement.
Tiger wants to compete directlywith Qantas’ low-cost subsidiary Jetstar,which was launched in 2004 to challenge Richard Branson’s Australianventure Virgin Blue.
Qantas is the subject of an US$8.7billion buyout bid from a consortiumled by Macquarie Bank and Texas PacificGroup.
Tiger Airways, which has a fleet ofnine A320s, already flies from Darwinto Singapore and will introduce a servicebetween Singapore and Perth nextmonth. State-controlled Singapore Airholds 49 percent of Tiger, while Singaporestate investment firm Temasek has11 percent. Its remaining two shareholdersare Indigo Partners, an investmentfirm founded by former America Westchief Bill Franke, with 24 percent, andRyanair founder Tony Ryan with 16percent.