Caged Tiger...

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in Other Countries' started by VH-RMD, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    Tiger grounded over 'serious' safety concerns

    Updated 35 minutes ago

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    It is the second time in a month that Tiger is being investigated for flying too low. (ABC News: Timothy Marshall)

    All Tiger Airways flights in Australia have been grounded for the next week after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) cited serious safety concerns over the airline's operations.
    CASA moved to suspend Tiger's services after an incident on Thursday night when a Tiger Airways Airbus A320 flew into Avalon Airport, south-west of Melbourne, below the lowest safe altitude.
    It is the second time in a month that Tiger has flown below the safety standard.
    CASA says it is the first time it has grounded an airline.
    A spokesman for CASA, Peter Gibson, says concerns with the airline were raised as early as March this year when Tiger was issued with a show-cause notice over pilot training and maintenance procedures.
    "The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has issued Tiger with notice about a number of serious safety concerns about pilot training, about pilot standards, about maintenance standards," he said.
    "We've been working with the airline to deal with those issues, but we're not satisfied that they've satisfactorily done that.
    "Tiger has not been able to, at this stage, convince us that they can continue operations safely, so that's why they're on the ground.
    "We believe this is symptomatic of problems within the airline [and] we've put them on the ground while we consider all these issues."
    The Australian Transport Safety Bureau also says it is also looking into why the Tiger flight flew below the minimum safe altitude.
    On the evening of June 7, air traffic control reported another Tiger Airways A320 cleared to descend to 2,500 feet (762 metres) near Melbourne Airport, but it continued to a reported 2,000 feet.
    The lowest safe altitude for that leg of the approach was 2,500 feet, the bureau said.
    In a statement, the airline says it is cooperating fully with the safety authority.
    Tiger says its domestic services will remain suspended until July 9, while it conducts investigations into the two recent operational incidents.
    It says passengers flying domestically between now and next Saturday should not go to the airport.
    Customers affected will receive a full refund or credit for deferred travel.
    The airline says its services to and from Singapore are not affected and continue to operate normally.
    It says it is doing all it can to minimise passenger disruption.
    Passengers are being turned away from the Tiger terminal at Melbourne Airport this morning.
    Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillet says it is a frustrating time for those travellers who booked flights for the school holidays.
    "Today is a particularly busy time for us, we know it's really frustrating and we are doing what we can to assist but it is very unfortunate," she said.
    "We just definitely appreciate people's patience and cooperation. So I would encourage people to not come to Melbourne Airport but to speak to the Tiger Airways call centre."
    While not wanting to comment specifically on the grounding of Tiger Airlines, Australian and International Pilots Association president Captain Barry Jackson says it is not a surprise.
    "I'm concerned as we have been, as I say, for quite a while about the dropping standards in the airline industry, particularly in the low-cost sector," he said.
    "Because we are driving to lower and lower costs, the public expects lower and lower airfares."
    Mr Jackson says he is also concerned that an airline has flown below the lowest altitude considered safe.
    "In cloud there's a minimum set of altitudes around airports and particularly when you're approaching an airport, those minimum standards give a buffer above terrain," he said.
    "There's a safety margin in there but it is the absolute minimum if in cloud. If you can't see the ground you must not go below those altitudes so it's pretty serious."
     
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  2. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    No decision on extending Tiger suspension

    Updated 2 hours 19 minutes ago

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    CASA says yesterday's meeting was important in helping to decide on the airline's future. (AAP: Tiger Airways)

    The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has not yet decided if it will move to extend the grounding of Tiger Airways.
    The airline's domestic services have been grounded until at least Saturday because of serious safety concerns.
    Tiger Airways executives held a two-hour meeting with CASA yesterday and in a statement said the airline was working with CASA to get flights back in the air as soon as possible.
    CASA's Peter Gibson says the airline has been cooperative and yesterday's meeting was helpful.
    Mr Gibson says the meeting was an important step in determining the airline's future.
    "Certainly Tiger were very open during the meeting. There were very good discussions about a range of issues," he said.
    "Tiger brought to the table a number of senior people and we had about two-and-half hours of discussion about the investigation into the incident and a range of other issues.
    "But this was just another step in the detailed process of working through all the issues - investigating the recent incidents and determining a position on how we can move forward with Tiger."
    In a statement Tiger Airways says it will continue to work with CASA to get flights back in the air as quickly as possible.
     
  3. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    Grounded Tiger, 'complex' problems

    By Emily Bourke
    Updated 32 minutes ago

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    Tiger Airways flights look set to be grounded until August 1 as CASA investigates 'complex issues' (ABC: Timothy Marshall)

    Tiger Airways looks set to be grounded for several more weeks as investigations continue into safety issues at the airline.
    Australia's air safety regulator is heading to the Federal Court to argue for the temporary flight ban to be extended until August 1, because it has too many outstanding safety concerns.
    The airline was slapped with a week-long suspension last Saturday because of a serious and imminent risk to air safety, but Peter Gibson from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority says investigators need more time.
    "What we have to do is we have to complete our investigations into particular incidents and other matters that we're looking at, and then turn our minds to what this tells us about the safety systems within Tiger, what systemic problems may exist within the airline and then look at what the solutions are to that," he said.
    "So it's a lot of work, it's detailed work, we've got to go through it step by step very carefully so that we get the right safety outcomes. It's not just about particular incidents, it is delving right down into how the organisation is operating."
    Mr Gibson says the scope of the investigations has not expanded, but the safety issues are more complex than first thought.
    "The scope of the investigations remains pretty much the same but as we're working through it, we're finding that the issues are very complex, more complex than we first thought," he added.
    Tiger says it will not oppose the extended ban on flights, and it will refund fares to passengers with tickets from now until July 31.
    Peter Gibson says Tiger has been cooperative, but the issues may not be resolved quickly.
    "There's a lot of work to do between now and August 1 if, indeed, the Federal Court grants the extension to the grounding, and it'll be obviously working towards getting the airline back into the skies safely, and making sure that all the safety issues are addressed, that where changes are needed there are not only plans for those changes but obviously that they are implemented," he explained.
    "So look there's a lot to be done between now and then."
    The aviation editor at West Australian newspapers Geoffrey Thomas says Tiger airways insiders - especially pilots - are furious.
    "They are incensed because they're saying, look we're 30-year veterans, the average experience at Tiger is 30 years - ex-Qantas pilots, ex-military pilots, ex-Ansett pilots - and they said we have been taking the wrap here for the airline's lack of resources and putting the wrong people in the wrong positions," he said.
    "They said there's nothing wrong with the pilot team, it's just the management and you know management can be changed very quickly, it just needs some resources."
    However, Gerard Frawley from Australian Aviation Magazine says the extended ban does not bode well for the airline.
    "If the airline is grounded for such a period of time, consumer confidence in the airline's brand will be severely damaged," he said.
    "Beyond that, I mean already Tiger Airways' parent company in Singapore has said that for first week they estimate that the airline will lose about $1.5 million, so if you multiply that over four weeks... and then that's added on top of the fact that there was the volcanic ash disruptions in June.
    "So the airline is carrying significant losses, so to add on top of that the reputational damage from this grounding, it must really put into question the future of the airline."
    In a statement issued last night, Tiger Airways Australia announced that its chief executive Crawford Rix will leave the airline on July 31.
    He will be replaced by Tony Davis, the group president and CEO of the airline's Singapore-based parent company Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd.
     
  4. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    Tiger committed to 'long-term future' in Australia

    By Liz Hobday
    Updated 2 hours 7 minutes ago

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    Tony Davis says his appointment as head of Tiger's Australian arm shows a vote of confidence in the company (Reuters: Chaiwat Subprasom)

    Tiger Airways' new chief executive, Tony Davis, says his appointment shows the airline is committed to its operation in Australia, despite speculation mounting on the future of the company.
    The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has applied to the Federal Court to extend a flight ban on Tiger's domestic services until the end of the month, a move the airline says it will not oppose.
    CASA spokesman Peter Gibson says the safety regulator needs more time to sift through concerns about the airline.
    The authority is looking particularly at two landings in June - one at Avalon Airport and the other at Tullamarine Airport, outside Melbourne - in which the pilots approached below the safe minimum altitude.
    The grounding is costing the airline millions of dollars, but Mr Davis, who is also the Tiger group's president, says his appointment as head of the Australian arm shows a vote of confidence in the company.
    He will replace Crawford Rix, who finishes on July 31.
    "The board of Tiger Airways is absolutely committed to the airline here in Australia," he told ABC's Lateline Business.
    "My appointment is a tangible demonstration of that commitment. And as I said we're going to do everything we need to do to ensure that the airline can start services at end of month."
    Mr Davis says the grounding is costing Tiger more than 1.5 million a week.
    "Obviously the fact that we've decided to suspend the services until the end of July means that that's a significant cost but what's more important [is] it's an investment in the long-term future of the business," he said.
    Mr Davis says the airline will work closely with safety regulators to resolve any issues.
    "What we're looking at is ensuring that we address whatever issues we discover in this process, we address them fully, and we ensure that the airline has a long-term, safe, viable future," he said.
    The grounding is affecting thousands of passengers who have had to cancel their bookings in the busy school holiday period.
    But Mr Davis is confident people will still want to fly with Tiger.
    "I think consumers absolutely want Tiger to have a long-term future in Australia," he said.
    "I think they know that we've brought significant competition to the Australian market; we've reduced airfares here in Australia dramatically since we entered the market four years ago and I think consumers don't want to go back to the bad old days of the duopoly and very high airfares."
    Mounting cost

    CASA's Mr Gibson says the regulator has extended the ban despite the damage being done to Tiger's business.
    "The delay obviously hurts Tiger, clearly it does that and it's also a terrible inconvenience to the travelling public and we certainly regret that," he said.
    "But we've got to work through these issues in a diligent, systematic way. They're complex issues, complex information. We don't want to cut any corners because safety is the ultimate goal."
    The ban has been expensive for the airline, but it is also having a big impact on regional airports.
    The Sunshine Coast airport sees about 4,000 Tiger passengers a week.
    Its general manager, Peter Pallot, says that is 20 per cent of its business.
    "Of course this is in the middle of school holidays and after such a poor start to the year with cyclones and floods, followed by the ash cloud, it's the last thing we needed," he said.
    And with an upgrade to the airport still in the planning stages, Mr Pallot is hoping other airlines will step in to fill the gap.
    "I think we've been in the industry long enough to see the blips every now and then and the industry will stabilise, will come back, whether Tiger end up flying again or whether that capacity is taken up by other airlines, people will still be able to get into the Sunshine Coast," he said.
    At Avalon Airport, just outside Melbourne, Tiger used to make up half of its business.
    The airport's chief executive, Justin Giddings, says Tiger's ban will have a flow-on effect on the airport.
    "[It will] obviously have an effect on the revenue, in particular the retail, some of the car parking and even things like advertising, fuel sales - are all impacted by Tiger not flying at the moment," he said.
    He also says the cut-price airport tripled its capacity because of Tiger Airways.
    "So we've invested reasonably into the airport, we've built new aprons, we've made the terminal bigger as well and we've put in additional fuel capacity, aircraft fuel capacity. So there's no doubt that we'll take a hit," he said.
    But he says, at this stage, jobs are safe.
    "We've had a look at this and we believe that if Tiger don't come back and Jetstar remain, then there won't be any job changes from an airport perspective," he said.
    But he says even if Tiger returns to the air, it will be some time before there is more certainty in the industry.
    "I think even then there's going to be interesting times ahead," he said.
    "You look at some of the losses that they'd be making now, they're going to have to really look at how they can cut back on costs."
     
  5. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    Tiger pilot flew below minimum altitude twice

    Updated July 13, 2011 20:15:51

    [​IMG] Photo: The breaches have contributed to the Tiger's domestic fleet being grounded until August. (Tiger Airways: AAP)
    External Link: ATSB preliminary report into Tiger incident
    Related Story: Tiger chief quits after CASA ban extension bid
    Related Story: Tiger could be grounded for weeks, union warns
    Map: Melbourne 3000
    An investigation has found another Tiger Airways plane flew below the minimum altitude as it approached a Melbourne airport last month.
    It is the third incident in which a Tiger plane approached an airport below the minimum altitude, and the second incident involving the same pilot.
    The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released a preliminary report into the incident, saying an Airbus flew below the minimum height of 600 metres feet while approaching Avalon Airport.
    An earlier investigation found a separate Tiger plane flew too low into Melbourne Airport after using a database containing the wrong descent altitude.
    The breaches contributed to the airline's domestic fleet being grounded until August.
    The pilots' union has confirmed the same pilot was involved in both cases, but the ATSB says the pilot was qualified to fly the aircraft and had 15,000 hours of flying experience.
    The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has suspended Tiger Airway's flights until August, while it investigates safety problems with the airline.
     
  6. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    Tiger still grounded after hearing adjourned

    Updated August 03, 2011 12:19:48

    [​IMG] Photo: Tiger Airways will be unable to fly until at least Friday. (Timothy Marshall: ABC News)
    Related Story: Tiger grounded over 'serious' safety concerns
    Related Story: No date set for Tiger Airways return
    Map: Melbourne 3000
    Tiger Airways flights will remain grounded until at least Friday, after a Federal Court hearing involving the airline and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was again adjourned.
    CASA has issued the airline with a list of safety conditions it must meet, including management and pilot proficiency, before the ban can be lifted.
    The airline has been grounded since early July after two incidents in which Tiger planes flew below the required safety standard.
     
  7. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    Tiger Airways grounding lifted

    Updated August 10, 2011 15:35:29

    [​IMG] Photo: Tiger Airways grounding has been lifted. (Tiger Airways: AAP)
    Related Story: Tiger to remain grounded 'for some time'
    Related Story: Tiger Airways remains grounded
    Map: Australia
    Tiger Airways says it will resume flying on Friday after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority lifted its grounding of the airline.
    Tiger says it is resuming ticket sales today, and will start a gradual resumption of domestic services from Friday.
    The first flights will be those between Melbourne (Tullamarine) and Sydney, with the resumption of other routes to be announced shortly.
    Tiger says it is adopting a simplified flight program concentrating on the most popular and profitable routes.
    It does not have much choice in the short-term, as the number of sectors the airline is allowed to fly is initially limited to a maximum of 18 per day for the rest of this month.
    The airline says the reduction in the number of flights means it will be operating eight aircraft instead of the current 10, and will close its crew base in Adelaide and temporarily suspend the one at Avalon Airport.
    Tiger says it will advise passengers already booked for flights from August 12 of any change to their travel plans, and offer affected customers transfers onto another Tiger Airways flight or a full refund if their flight is not operating.
    New conditions

    The suspension has been lifted effective from today, following a grounding that lasted more than a month while CASA investigated safety issues.
    As a result of the investigation CASA has imposed a new set of conditions on the airline's certificate to operate.
    The conditions cover areas including: pilot training; pilot rostering and fatigue management; updating and revision of operational manuals; the appointment of additional qualified personnel in key positions; and amendments to Tiger's safety management system.
    CASA says these conditions also include extra simulator and ground training for Tiger's pilots.
    The authority says Tiger demonstrated it can comply with the conditions of its certificate and meet the necessary safety requirements before the flight suspension was lifted.
    CASA's director of aviation safety John McCormick says Tiger can be credited with a cooperative approach.
    "This was a thorough and rigorous investigation of the safety management within Tiger Airways that looked at the factors behind the incidents themselves at safety systems and safety processes," he said.
    "Tiger Airways has co-operated with our investigation and provided all the relevant documentation and information."
    However, the authority says it will be closely monitoring Tiger to ensure it maintains the new standards.
    "CASA will be closely monitoring the operations of Tiger Airways through scheduled surveillance and regular spot checks," added Mr McCormick.
    "We will also be meeting regularly with the airline to review ongoing safety performance and compliance with the conditions on the airline's operations."
     

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