The Civil Aviation Safety Authority now believes Tiger Airways Australia is nearing a position to safely resume services.
Yesterday the safety regulator indicated it had concluded its basic investigation of Tiger as it gave the carrier a set of undisclosed conditions, some of which Tiger must comply with before resuming services and some that must be adhered to after resumption. Accepting these conditions will end CASA's application to the Federal Court about extending Tiger's grounding. Yesterday's hearing, adjourned from last week, has been adjourned to next Monday (1 August), the day CASA originally expected to conclude its investigation by.
The adjourned hearing was instigated again at Tiger's request, showing Tiger continues to want to avoid court limelight. Tiger has ruled out flying before 5 August as it has refunded passenger tickets until then. An announcement about ticket booking resumption and scheduled flights on and after 5 August will be made in due course, Tiger said.
There are two views to this. First, as has been suggested in local reports, Tiger could resume services on 1 August but needs lead up time to sell tickets (it has agreed with the competition regulator not to sell tickets while grounded) and prepare crew.
The second view is Tiger may not be able to comply with CASA's conditions by 1 August. A carefully worded statement goes: "Tiger Airways Australia is confident that it can comply with these conditions and expects to resume services in the near future. As a consequence, Tiger Airways Australia will automatically refund all passengers booked to fly between 1 August 2011 and 4 August 2011."
With Tiger's fate no longer a prime consideration, two questions emerge: how quickly will the public go back to Tiger's low fares, and will the carrier continue with the operational (albeit non-safety) maturity it showed prior to its grounding?