One of Tigerair’s no longer loved (?) A320s

Tigerair is to expand its low fare footprint in Canberra with three times weekly services to Brisbane from September 14.

The flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays with mid morning departures from Brisbane and lunchtime departures from Canberra. Tigerair Australia is in the process of replacing its A320s with 737-800s sourced from its owner Virgin Australia.

There is no known detailed timetable for that changeover, which includes Virgin Australia getting rid of its highly popular Embraer E-190s which are a major product differentiation between itself and Qantas in the Canberra market.

Tigerair Australia is also adding a new flight to its Canberra-Melbourne route from September 15, lifting frequency to eight single aisle jets a week.

When will Qantas low fare brand Jetstar join in the fun? Perhaps soon, as Canberra has enormous potential for low fare flights, and not just on domestic routes, but on the NZ and Asia visitor markets.

Tigerair Australia CEO Rob Sharp says the additional low cost flights announced today were in direct response to overwhelming consumer demand.

He said “Canberrans have truly embraced Tigerair’s great value fares and friendly service. We have had a fantastic customer response to our Melbourne Canberra services since we launched them in December last year.

“With eight weekly return services from Melbourne and three from Brisbane, Tigerair Australia will be providing close to 4,000 seats weekly through Canberra Airport or over 200,000 seats annually to the doorstep of the nation’s capital city.”

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said, “We look forward to continuing to partner with our valued airport and tourism partners to stimulate air travel on the new route.”

“Tigerair flights between Brisbane and Canberra comes off the back of record domestic visitors to the capital last year – and is a sign of the growing status of Canberra as a tourism destination.”

Neither Chief Minister Barr nor Tiger CEO Sharp mentioned the appeal of low fares to students, and business travellers who run their own transport budgets. If the prior record of LCC travel in Australia is a guide, Canberra will gain dozens of budget fare flights in the nearer future.

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