A Tiger Airways A320 at Hobart airport: Supplied photo

Just one of those idle speculations, but wouldn’t Tiger Airways make a useful substitution for the Virgin Australia flights non-stop Canberra to Hobart once they are dropped from 29 April?

The dropping because of lack of demand for what was the only fast and convenient air service between the Tasmanian and national capitals is even more of the lost opportunity than outlined in this Canberra Times report.

Discretionary leisure travel to Canberra, and itineraries which might extend to the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, or the Hunter vineyards through Newcastle or the NSW northern coasts through Coffs Harbour, and to the Red Centre, offers a far deeper and less tidal flow of potential passengers than the ebb and surge of lobbysists, carpet baggers and politicians that are driven by the sitting schedules of Federal Parliament.

But it is if overseas experience is any guide, the natural prey of the low far air travel model.

The benefits to Canberra tourism would be substantial, and likely to encourage more investment in accommodation and attractions.

Problem. The ACCC has yet to decide whether Virgin Australia can compete with the Qantas group by having its separate low fare brand in Tiger just like Jetstar. Other problem. It is far from certain Virgin Australia really wants to Tiger.  And even further problem. Tiger’s Singaporean owners will put the big cat down anyhow if they can’t offload the greater part of the risk and responsibility for developing Tiger’s potential to another owner.

The let live or let die moment for Tiger fast approaches.

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