Officials at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Australia have sought to extend the one-week grounding of Tiger Airways, effectively banning the carrier from operations until August.
Tiger has been out of the skies since Saturday, when CASA first raised safety concerns about the airline.
CASA is seeking a continuation of the suspension until August 1st 2011, with an application lodged at the Federal Court in Melbourne.
While it remains unlikely Tiger Airways will resume flights before this time, CASA did offer one ray of light to the carrier.
“If CASA completes its investigations and determinations before August 1st 2011 and is satisfied Tiger Airways Australia no longer poses a serious and imminent risk to air safety it may be possible for it to resume operations earlier,” read a statement.
Some 40,000 passengers have been affected so far this week due to the grounding, with many thousands more now in line for disruption.
CASA suspended Tiger Airways Australia’s operations on July 2nd 2011 because it believed permitting the airline to continue to fly “posed a serious and imminent risk to air safety”.
The body now needs more time to carry out its investigations.
Tiger Airways has been working with CASA for the past five days to establish a plan for the resumption of its services.
The airline has made it clear it will not oppose the period of extension.
Tiger has offered refunds passengers holding reservations between now and July 31st.
It has also been announced Tiger chief executive, Crawford Rix, will leave the airline on July 31st. He will be replaced by Tony Davis, chief executive of
Tiger parent company Tiger Airways Holding.
In turn, Davis’ former responsibilities will be carried out by Chin Yau Seng, executive director of Tiger Airways Holdings.