Australia’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, suspended Tiger Airways flights on Saturday due to serious safety concerns.
Update: July 7,2011 – CASA has extended Tiger Airways suspension to July 31 2011, pending the outcome of further investigations.
The suspension by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority was prompted after an incident with a Tiger Airways flight landing at Avalon Airport, Melbourne’s second busiest airport. The Tiger Airways Airbus A320 flew below the lowest safe altitude as it was landing; the flight subsequently landed safely and no injuries were reported.
Tiger Airways history with flying below the lowest, safe altitude is not good: this is the second incident of its kind within the last thirty days. Previously, in March, the CASA issued a show-cause notice with regards to maintenance procedures and pilot training. A show-cause notice issued by CASA, or show-cause order, requires an airline to cite why their licence should not be suspended or revoked.
“Tiger has not been able to convince us that they can continue operations safely”, said an CASA official. According to officials, CASA is considering extending the airline’s grounding by going to Federal court.
The week-long suspension could could affect dozens of flights and thousands of passengers. The suspension comes at one of the airline’s busiest times with many passengers travelling as their school holidays start. Tiger Airways says affected customers will receive a full refund, or credit for future travel.
Tiger Airways operates a fleet of ten Airbus A320 aircraft and 14 A320 in Singapore. It says operations in and out of Singapore are not affected by this incident.