AUSTRALIA’S leading travel agency group has welcomed the ACCC’s decision to approve Virgin’s 60% investment in Tiger Airways.

Flight Centre Limited managing director Graham Turner said the deal secured Tiger’s presence in Australia and, at the same time, gave the airline a stronger foundation for future expansion.

“Tiger’s challenges in establishing a viable financial model in Australia have been well documented and it was not surprising to hear that the airlines’ backers were not prepared to guarantee its long-term future in this market if the deal with Virgin wasn’t approved,” Mr Turner said.

“With Virgin’s backing, it appears that Tiger is here for the long-haul and it can now become a more substantial competitor to Jetstar.

“This will benefit travellers because we will now have four strong mainstream airlines on domestic routes.

“We expect to see Tiger and Jetstar competing aggressively, just as we have seen with Virgin and Qantas during the past decade.

“Potentially, this heralds an exciting new era in domestic aviation.

“Travellers will inevitably be the winners as Tiger grows and takes on new routes and the incumbent airlines enhance their own offerings to maintain marketshare.”

ENDS  Media enquiries to Haydn Long 0418 750454