The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has suspended all Tiger Airways flights in Australia this week because of “serious” safety concerns. The airline is still allowed to make international flights from Australia.
This is the first time CASA grounds an airline. This decision comes after a series of incidents that involved Tiger Airways in recent months. In March 2011, CASA warned Tiger Airways about poor pilot training and problems with maintenance procedures. Then, two Tiger aircraft flew below the safety standard last month. The last incident happened on Thursday night when a Tiger Airways Airbus A320 flew into Avalon Airport, south-west of Melbourne, below the lowest safe altitude.
CASA grounded the budget airline’s flights for a week, while it works with the company’s officials in order to find a solution.
Meanwhile, thousands of passengers that have booked flights for this week had their flights cancelled and were sent back home from the airport. The grounding caused chaos, especially because it came during a school holiday period. Tiger Airways did not reroute its passengers to other airlines, but Virgin Australia and Jetstar are trying to offer additional services, in order to accommodate the affected passengers.
In their latest public statement Tiger says that it is fully cooperating with CASA and promises that all the customers who had their flights cancelled will receive a full refund or credit for deferred travel.