Virgin installs Rob Sharp as Tiger chief

AAP, with a staff reporter

Former Qantas executive Rob Sharp has been named as the new boss of struggling budget carrier Tiger Airways Australia.

Mr Sharp, who has 15 years' experience at Qantas including roles in strategy and innovation, and global airport infrastructure and services, will start as Tiger Australia's chief executive on May 1.

His appointment comes after the competition regulator approved Virgin Australia's bid to buy 60 per cent of Tiger Australia from its Singaporean parent.

As part of the transaction, Virgin Australia had the right to nominate the first chief executive.

Mr Sharp will replace Andrew David, who left Tiger in March for a role at Jetstar.

Tiger has yet to make a profit since it started flying in Australia in November 2007. It was grounded for six weeks in 2011 due to safety concerns from the aviation regulator.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission concluded Tiger Australia was likely to have closed down had Virgin's bid to buy 60 per cent of the loss-making carrier been rejected.

Virgin plans to use Tiger to compete against Qantas' low-cost offshoot Jetstar for price-conscious leisure travellers.

It proposed to grow Tiger's fleet from 11 Airbus A320s currently to up to 35 aircraft by 2018.

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