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Embattled Tiger Australia appoints high profile safety advisor

Tiger Airways Australia has appointed an ex-Qantas chief pilot as a safety advisor to the CEO.

Chris Manning, a 40-year industry veteran, will assume the position immediately, reporting directly to the grounded carrier's CEO, Tony Davis.

"Chris is one of the most experienced pilots and operational advisors in Australia and we are lucky to have him working with our business," said Davis. "Safety will continue to underpin our operations at all times and with the assistance of Chris, I am confident that Tiger Airways will operate with the highest levels of safety management across our entire operation, both on the ground and in the air."

Manning is a fellow at the Royal Aeronautical Society and a former president of the International Pilots Association. Besides serving as chief pilot, he was also group general manager of flight operations at Qantas, a company he first joined in 1970.

Manning's appointment follows the recent appointment of Davis, who previously headed Tiger Airways Australia's parent company Tiger Holdings. On 6 July, Davis replaced former CEO Crawford Rix, who left Tiger after just one year with the company.

Davis added that Manning's appointment is aimed at showing the aviation sector and public that Tiger is "committed to a safe, viable, and long term future in Australia."

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) issued a 30-page show cause notice (SCN) on 23 March that charged that Tiger, "on a number of occasions", broke provisions of the Civil Aviation Act, Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 and Civil Aviation Orders, according to CASA's response to a freedom of information request.

On 1 July, CASA ground Tiger, owing to what it called "immediate and serious safety reasons".

On 7 July, CASA sought an extension of the grounding until 1 August to allow it more time to complete its investigation into Tiger's safety record. Australia's Federal Court has set 22 July for a directions hearing into this application.

CASA on 12 July said the contents of the SCN could "cause damage to Tiger Airways' reputation".

"The allegations made in the SCN and the responses by Tiger concerning them would, or at least could reasonably be expected to, cause damage to Tiger Airways' reputation - which may lead to damage to its business, commercial and financial interests," CASA said.

On 14 July, CASA said the carrier had breached its air operator's certificate before it was issued the SCN in March. Subsequent incidents included two breaches of flying below minimum safe altitudes.

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