Tiger Airways has some serious problems. In recent weeks Tiger has cancelled – without warning and without help to passengers – dozens of flights. Literally thousands of passengers are still waiting for refunds to be made to their credit cards – with many suffering charges in respect of bills for flights that never happened. Many, too, have had to pay last-minute prices to reach their destinations, often at many times the price of the Tiger ticket they had bought in good faith.
The problems are Tiger are not from a single cause: aircraft problems have featured but a bigger problem has been for the simple reason that the airline suffered a severe crew shortage.
Tiger, based in Singapore, has been growing its network for several years but has gained a reputation for dismal reliability. Passengers are openly saying they will never book another Tiger flight.
As Tiger’s problems descended in chaos last month, AirAsia‘s Tony Fernandes said that AirAsia was successful because it is run by Asians in an Asian market; Tiger, he said, was “run by a bunch of white guys.” That led to immediate allegations of racism.
Yesterday, AirAsia ran full page ads in two Singapore newspapers under the tag-line “If Tigers were meant to fly, they would have wings” and containing a “guarantee” that AirAsia would fly every day.
Tiger rarely cancelled all flights between Singapore and a specific destination in a particular day. But they did from time to time cancel the last flight. On one occasion in Kuala Lumpur, the last flight had no information for in or out.