Tigerair's 'sharp' pricing to test Jetstar in dogfight over cheap flights
Tigerair Australia has vowed to offer "sharp pricing" as it faces a tougher battle with Jetstar for budget-conscious travellers, but emphasises that it will not boost flights just for the sake of growth.
Analysts have warned that an oversupply of flights over the next year will be greatest at the low-cost end of the air-travel market as Tigerair embarks on plans to double its size by 2018. In response, Jetstar has promised to "protect its position" in the domestic market.
Tigerair Australia chief executive Rob Sharp said the airline was now looking to expand again after a gradual return to services following its forced grounding in 2011.
But the former Qantas executive made clear that the budget airline would not be sacrificing yield - or return on fares - just for the sake of filling seats.
"We are absolutely saying that we are growing but we will do it in a sensible way," he said at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit in Sydney on Friday.
"The aim at the moment is to get a sustainable domestic business."
After buying a majority stake in Tigerair last month, Virgin has said it wants the budget airline to become profitable in two years. It is an ambitious target for an airline that has lost more than $226 million since launching in 2007.