Tiger Airways earns its stripes, but not money

December 9, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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The Australian

Tiger Airways Australia lost more than $50 million in its first full financial year of operations, dragging its parent company into the red after wiping out a small operating profit from the Singaporean operation.

Tiger Aviation posted a net loss of $S51m ($40m) in the year to March 31 compared with a $9.8m profit the previous year and its cash reserves slumped from $S33.4m to $S13.2m.

The airline confirmed yesterday that the Australian operations posted an operating loss of $50.1m.

The worse than expected result came despite optimistic talk of growth in Australia and a boost in group revenue from $S304m to $S378m. Tiger’s Singapore operations declared an operating profit of $S12.2m.

Tiger Airways group chief executive Tony Davis said the airline was pleased with the Singapore result and that the Australian losses had been anticipated.

The Australian operations had been affected by high oil prices and foreign exchange volatility, he said.

“The underlying positive performance in Australia resulted in additional growth in based aircraft from four to seven and the commencement of services from a second operating base in Adelaide from March, 2009,” he said.

The loss came after Singapore Airlines confirmed last month it had stopped accounting for losses from Tiger Airways, and reports from Singapore indicating the airline was seeking to raise cash.

Tiger has reportedly been looking at an initial public offering early in the new year.

Initial reports from Singapore indicated the carrier was looking at a float of $US300-500m.