The implication of statements filed today to the Singapore Stock Exchange by Tiger Airways Holdings make it clear that its Australian division continues to drag it down.

The airline group says it expects to lose ‘markedly more’ in the three months to the end of September than the $SIN 20.6 loss the group announced on Friday when it reported its first quarter results to the end of June in its current financial year.

Given that previous guidance has been upbeat and placed its Singapore division firmly in profit it means that the airline is continuing to pay the price of consumer disapproval for its failures to recognize and act on its obligation under Australian safety regulations.

The six week grounding of the Australian domestic operation during July and August by CASA as a threat to public safety  appears set to obliterate the benefits Tiger is reaping from its profitable SE Asia operations.

Tiger Holdings has never disclosed separate figures for its Singapore and Australian divisions.

In a separate statement today Tiger notified the market it had received a letter of complaint against its Singapore unit via the Civil Aeronautics Board of the Philippines.

“The (Philippines) complaint suggested that the suspension of the operations of Tiger Airways Australia Pty. Ltd. in July 2011 by the Australian regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, raises similar questions about (Tiger Airways Singapore) operations to the Philippines,” the airline said.

The Philippines CAB confirmed the board had relayed to Tiger a complaint made by an unnamed third party, but didn’t provide further details.

Tiger said the Philippines complaint “is without merit,” and has filed a response with a proposal to dismiss the complaint, however it initially made a similarly defiant stance against CASA after the Australian regulator put it on the ground.

Tiger Holdings also said the ACCC has filed a complaint  against Tiger Australia  over alleged inaccuracies in a marketing email sent to subscriber customers.

No details concerning this complaint have been released by the Australian consumer watchdog.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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