Tigerair Australia has stopped sending aircraft for heavy maintenance at SIA Engineering Philippines after a Boeing 737-800 was grounded for just over three weeks following a heavy check at the MRO operator's Clark facility.

The aircraft, registered VH-VUB, developed a cockpit voice recorder fault after departing on its ferry flight back to Melbourne on 31 July. As there were no safety concerns, the aircraft continued on its nonstop ferry flight and landed safely, a source tells FlightGlobal.

As engineers were resolving the cockpit voice recorder issue, they discovered a defect in the cargo smoke evacuation system, which caused the aircraft to be grounded. Tigerair Australia and Virgin Tech conducted a full review of all maintenance items from the heavy check, while rectifying the smoke system fault.

The aircraft re-entered service on 22 August. Virgin Australia, the parent company of Tigerair Australia, stresses that the aircraft “did not operate any Regular Public Transport flights…while any fault was detected” and has been operating normally.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the budget carrier operates four 737-800s and 12 Airbus A320s.

Tigerair Australia has used SIAEP for heavy maintenance on both types for two years, but has not said where it will conduct heavy checks on its fleet after dropping the provider.

Heavy maintenance on Virgin Australia’s 737s is conducted by Air New Zealand Engineering & Maintenance in Christchurch.

SIAEP is a joint venture between SIA Engineering Company and Cebu Pacific Air. FlightGlobal Dashboard data shows that its other clients include Philippines AirAsia, Scoot and SilkAir.

Source: Cirium Dashboard