Tigerair Group elects former Singapore Air chief as CEO


Singapore-based low-cost airline Tigerair Group, operating as Tigerair, is replacing its CEO Koay Peng Yen with former Singapore Airlines executive and Tigerair board member Lee Lik Hsin after continuing massive losses in fiscal year of 2014.

Tigerair Group — containing Tigerair Singapore, Tigerair Mandala and Tigerair Australia — has posted a net loss of SG $223 million (which translates to USD $177 million) for the year ended March 31, 2014, widened from a net loss of S$45 million for the same period of last year.

The said low-cost carrier reported an operating net loss of S$52 million, reversed from an operating profit of S$7.3 million year-over-year.

Moreover, the flagship Tigerair Singapore reported an operating loss of S$59 million, reversed from a profit of S$57 million in 2013.

Tigerair pointed to overcapacity, increased competition and “turbulence in emerging markets that hampered dawning airlines from establishing a decisive hold” as reasons for the significant poor results.

To be fair, Mr Koay came with strong credentials from the maritime sector, and oversaw the reduction of Tigerair’s presence in Australia where the business was facing unprecedented competition and institutionalized hostility.

As part of an ongoing cost-cutting strategy, Tigerair has sold 60-prcent of its Australian operation to Virgin Australia, sold Tigerair Philippines (formerly known as SEAir) to JG Summit Holdings’ budget-carrier Cebu Pacific for US$14.5 million last January, and has trimmed the network of Tigerair Indonesia.

Indonesian LCC Citilink has also reportedly been in talks with the local arm company of Tigerair over its potential acquisition to the Garuda Indonesia subsidiary.

The company expects to launch Tigerair Taiwan with China Airlines by the end of this year. –

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