I've flown TR (Tiger Singapore) 3K (Jet star Asia) and AK (Air Asia) regularly over the past couple of months and I have begun thinking about TR's strategy and sustainability.
It appears to me their operations from Singapore are strong, with pretty good load factors even on thin routes like KBV. We all know load factors and yields are a very different thing, but they've posted pre-tax profits in last few years, which leads me to believe they are actually managing to make money. However, JQ, 3K, and all the AK subsidiaries are expanding across the region pretty quickly.
JQ (Jet star) has a strong operation in Singapore (3K) and starting pretty strong in Vietnam (BL).
AK (Air Asia) has set-up subsidiaries in Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines, on top of their Long Haul business from KUL.
On the other hand, Tiger's first venture outside of Singapore was into Australia. It currently serves four routes out of MEL and faces direct competition from VA, JQ, and QF on 3 of them. It is not surprising TT (Tiger Australia) has been bleeding money. In addition, we all heard about the grounding of their aircraft in July by CASA due to woes about their safety standards, more explicitly, their pilot training.
Their other expansion ventures have failed. The proposed alliance with TG to form a joint low cost Thai Tiger failed. Their proposed venture in South Korea never materialized.
Now, on top of their Australia setback, Tony Davis, MD of Tiger Airways Holdings allegedly sold a bunch of shares in the company immediately prior to the aircraft grounding. Now Tony Davis is leaving the company and TT has named former VA COO to lead the Australian subsidiary.
TR has also had all sorts of other problems with a pilot shortage that forced cancellations across the 2010 summer schedules. Their attempt to fill in the positions with Indonesian pilots failed and ended up having to hire European pilots for more than they were originally willing to pay.
Now, Tiger's strategy seems to be unclear at the moment. The changes in the top executive positions will have to bring some changes to face the increasing intensity of JQ's (3K) and AK's competition. They seem to be way more focused than TR.
I know there's a good few local Singaporeans in this forum as well as a good number of Aussies and people familiar with the SE Asian market. I'd appreciate all of your comments.
NB: I am not affiliated to any of this airlines and all of the information posted here is available publicly.