Tiger Airways offers low-cost flights from Singapore


Tiger Airways, the low-cost airline partly owned by Ryanair founder Dr Tony Ryan and his family, will get airborne next month offering cheap flights from Singapore.

It has recruited 60 staff and Ryanair's former chief pilot, Mr Jim Duggan, will take on that role at Tiger when its flights take off from Singapore's Changi airport.

In less than two years, Tiger expects to move its operations to a new low-cost terminal which the Singapore government has agreed to build close to Changi.

It is to be completed within 20 months at a cost of €22 million and will have facilities to cope with three million passengers.

Former Ryanair executive Mr Charlie Clifton who is working with the Ryan family in establishing the airline and who had been involved in lobbying the Irish Government on a second terminal in Dublin, said the Singapore government was surprised at the lack of such facilities in the Republic.

Officials from Singapore visited terminals at Beauvais in France, Hahn in Germany, Scotland's Prestwick airport and Ryanair's biggest base at Stansted in Essex while considering sanctioning its own low-cost terminal.

"Six months after it decided on the low-cost terminal, tenders were put out for the project. The speed with which they made a decision was refreshing," he said.

Tiger will avail of a discount offered at Changi to new airlines. This concession will last for two years.

Tiger is gearing up to offer no-frills services to destinations in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Thailand, China and Japan.

The Ryan family, together with a consortium of US investors led by Ryanair chairman Mr David Bonderman, owns 40 per cent of Tiger. The airline is majority-owned by Singapore Airlines and the Singapore government.

They intend to replicate Ryanair's successful business model in Singapore and have already imposed many of the low-cost measures adopted at the Irish airline. Tiger's crew and staff will pay for their own uniforms and training and the airline intends to sell the majority of its seats over the internet.