An air safety watchdog has grounded all Australian domestic flights of a Tiger Airways subsidiary on Saturday after the budget airline twice flew under the minimum allowed altitude.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority announced that Tiger Airways Australia's entire domestic fleet of 10 airliners was grounded for five business days because continuing flights would pose a serious and imminent risk to air safety.
"We don't have confidence in the ability of Tiger to continue to manage the safety of their operations," safety authority spokesman Peter Gibson said. He said he understood that Tiger was the first national carrier in Australia to have its entire fleet grounded.
The airline, which entered the Australian aviation market three years ago, alerted passengers in a statement that services will remain suspended until July 9. Fares will be refunded.
Tiger, the third-largest domestic airline in Australia, operated between all state capitals and several regional cities. Tiger flights between the Australian west coast city of Perth and Singapore are unaffected.
The grounding is another blow to the bottom line of Singapore-based Tiger Airways Pty. Ltd., and to passenger confidence after weeks of intermittent flight cancellations due to clouds of volcanic ash over southern Australia since Chile's Cordon Caulle volcano began erupting June 4.
Tiger is 49 percent owned by national carrier Singapore Airlines Ltd. and 11 percent owned by state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings.