Tiger Airways gets approval from Australian authorities to sell stake to Virgin

Tiger Airways Australia has received the green light from authorities Down Under to sell a 60 per cent stake to Virgin Australia. In making its decision, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the A$35 million (S$44.4 million) acquisition is "unlikely" to lead to a substantial reduction in competition in the Australian domestic market.

The sale to Virgin is a key part of Tiger's strategy to turn around a tough business. The airline - a part of the Singapore-owned Tiger group - had posted a string of losses since a 2011 grounding by Australia's Civil Aviation safety Authority over safety concerns.

Tiger had indicated that if it did not receive approval, it would consider leaving the market.

In its statement, the competition watchdog said this was a factor it considered when making the decision. Mr Koay Peng Yen, chief executive officer of the Tiger group said: "With this approval in place, we can now look forward to commencing discussions with Virgin on our plans to grow Tiger Australia, and enable it to compete more effectively in the Australia's budget carrier space."