Passengers vote with wallets to secure first Tiger rides

PASSENGERS and bargain hunters have voted with their wallets to secure seats on the first Tiger Airways flights in and out of Coffs Harbour next year.

Just days after the discount carrier announced it was making Coffs Harbour it's first regional port in NSW, Tiger Airways commercial director Carly Brear said online booking activity has been constant.

"Fares between Coffs Harbour and Sydney went on sale Monday night for travel commencing on February 15 and we've experienced a very positive uptake in sales and we expect that momentum to continue," Ms Brear said.

"No doubt our $59.95 fares are helping people make a quick decision to book.

Qantaslink hit back yesterday with its own release of limited $69 one way fares, but Virgin Australia was maintaining a business as usual approach.

A spokesman said the carrier, which is seeking a 60% stake in Tiger Airways, welcomed competition

"There will be no change to our pricing strategy. We will continue to provide competitive airfares and excellent service."

"The proposed acquisition is not approved yet and therefore it is too early to be looking at individual markets."

Meantime the management of the Coffs Harbour Regional Airport has downplayed concerns that the arrival of Tiger will lead to tarmac and terminal congestion.

"We can expand the apron to handle three jets should it be needed," Coffs Harbour City Council's business unit manager Colin Spring said.

"We already had that project as part of the works program before Tiger Airways made its announcement. This has just hurried us along a little."

Mr Spring also offered assurances the airport can accommodate Tiger Airways at he check-in area.



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