Check which Melbourne airport your Tiger flight to Adelaide, the Gold Coast or Brisbane is departing from in the near future, because it is shifting them from Avalon to Melbourne Tullamarine ‘shortly’.

Similarly, if you are flying Tiger from Melbourne to Sydney, it is trebling those that leave from Avalon to three a day.

The airline said last night the changes, which see one of its Avalon based A320s move back to Tullamarine, are part of the promised ‘optimisation’ of its loss making Australian operations announced at the its year to March 31 financial results conference recently.

Tiger is expected to cut some ports altogether as part of this ‘optimisation’. Because it has frozen its Australian fleet at 10 A320s until its current financial year ends next March they are being reshuffled to add capacity to routes which Tiger says will help it back into profit in this country, after which it will get additional jets.

Fare hunters meanwhile may have notice something else going on at Tiger. Those absurdly expensive fares it routinely posted for last minute flights seem to have disappeared. Whether this is a reservations computer malfunction, or a clear sign that Tiger intends to get serious about offering fares close to $100 at convenient times on trunk routes like Sydney-Melbourne instead of hanging out for something close to $300 remains to be seen.

It’s an interesting thought, that at somewhere between $60-$100 one way on mainline routes, Tiger is probably far more dangerous as a competitor than it is with $24 fares on which it loses money, and annoys the hell out of those who miss out on them.

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