Tigerair revives Canberra-Melbourne flights

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Tigerair returns to Canberra
A passenger takes a photo of a Tigerair jet through a window at Sydney's Airport in Australia, August 5, 2016. Reuters/Jason Reed

Low cost carrier Tigerair is mounting daily flights between Canberra and Melbourne starting December 2016, and the budget airline is offering a seat sale to herald its return.

Tigerair Australia CEO Rob Sharp announced Monday that fares will go on sale later this week on the Tigerair Australia website.

“We have witnessed overwhelming demand and are proud to provide the only low cost services between Canberra and Melbourne. We are confident the new route will prove popular for our core market of budget and leisure travellers,” he said in a statement.

Sharp claimed that the reestablishment of Tigerair’s Canberra-Melbourne route will translate to over 2,500 additional visitors for both airports. Tigerair last flew out of Canberra in 2011 before the Civil Aviation Safety Authority grounded the budget carrier in August 2011. Virgin bought the Tigerair and rebranded it in 2013.

“Our customers love low fares but they also want friendly service and on time flights. Tigerair Australia was rebranded in July 2013 and I’m thrilled to say that we are delivering on the promise of consistent delivery of affordable, reliable air travel with great customer service.”

“Our great value fares stimulate demand and grow the air travel market which is a win-win for us all.”

The return of Tigerair in Canberra would also boost the economy of the Australian Capital Territory, according to Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

“These flights will generate $17 million a year in the Gross Regional Product of the Canberra catchment and, importantly, create an additional 124 jobs.

“This is such an exciting time for aviation in Canberra. International flights will start for the first time next month and we can now add this low cost link to Melbourne that Canberrans have been crying out for.”

The announcement was made after Melbourne was cited as the world’s most liveable city.

“Today’s announcement links Melbourne, voted the world's most liveable city for a sixth consecutive year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, with Canberra - Australia’s most interesting city,” said Stephen Byron, Capital Airport Group’s managing director.

“Canberrans are great travellers – and the Tigerair service will provide 2,500 reasons every week to travel to Melbourne and home again. And it gives Melburnians the same opportunity to come to Canberra.”