By Lilly Vitorovich
(Australian Associated Press)
Virgin Australia’s budget airline, Tigerair Australia, has formed a new alliance with seven peers in Asia, aimed at boosting passenger numbers and cutting airfares.
Tigerair chief executive Rob Sharp said the creation of the world’s largest low-cost carrier alliance will “deliver significant benefits” for its customers.
“Tigerair Australia customers will be able to view, select and book the best available fares and optional extras like meals and seat selection from any partner airline in a single transaction, directly from the Tigerair Australia website,” Mr Sharp said Monday.
Mr Sharp said Tigerair Australia would expand its existing network of 21 routes and 12 destinations to more than 160 destinations across the Asia Pacific region.
Tigerair has 17 aircraft and operates around 420 flights a week at present, the bulk of which are domestic.
Its biggest rival locally is Qantas’s budget carrier Jetstar.
Internationally, Tigerair only flies to Bali.
“By working together we can enable more people to travel for less to more places than ever before in a single transaction from the convenience of each airlines website,” Mr Sharp said in a statement.
Tigerair is working on incorporating new technology developed by Air Black Box, which will enable the airline to sell connecting fares throughout the region from the Value Alliance partners in a single transaction.
Tigerair customers will also be able select their seat and meal, variable baggage allowances and other inflight features.
The new booking capability is expected to be available on the Tigerair’s website in the “coming months.”
The other seven Value Alliance members, include: Cebu Pacific, Jeju Air, Nok Air, NokScott, Scoot, Tigerair Singapore and Vanilla Air, and membership is by invitation only.
The eight airlines collectively served more than 47 million travellers from 17 hubs last year.
Jetstar isn’t a member of an airline alliance, rather it has partnerships with Qantas, Emirates Skywards, Vietnam Airlines’ Lotusmiles and JAL Mileage Bank, according to its website.
The three major international airline alliances are Star Alliance, oneworld and Sky Team. Qantas is a member of the OneWorld alliance.