Tigerair Australia cancels flights to Bali citing new Indonesian requirements

Tigerair Australia said it cancelled four flights to Indonesia's Denpasar Bali airport on Wednesday, citing new administrative requirements from Indonesia's government.

"Tigerair is working with the relevant Indonesian authorities to meet the new requirements and is hopeful of having flights up and running again as soon as possible," the wholly owned unit of Virgin Australia said on its website, without mentioning what the requirements were.

It advised customers using the carrier between Bali and Australia on Wednesday not to go to the airport. In a later statement, the carrier said it would not operate the scheduled Bali flights on Thursday and early Friday, but that its parent, Virgin Australia, would operate two flights from Bali on Thursday to bring customers back to Australia.

"Tigerair was and is in compliance with all original conditions imposed by the Indonesian government on the operation of its Bali services," the airline said in a statement.

But Tigerair Australia's approval from the Indonesian government had been on an interim basis, and regulators informed the carrier on Tuesday afternoon that there would be no notice period to comply with the new conditions, requiring the airline to stop operating flights immediately.

The carrier declined to provide further details of its talks with the Indonesian government. On its official Twitter account, the carrier said the issue was administrative and not related to safety. The new requirements were not safety related.

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

Tigerair Australia said that its domestic flights were not affected by the restriction.

Indonesia's Directorate General of Civil Aviation didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Rival budget carrier Jetstar said via email on Wednesday that its flights weren't facing any issues with Indonesian regulations.

"This is unique to Tigerair," the Jetstar representative said. "We are arranging to offer special discounted fares to Tigerair customers impacted by these sudden cancellations this week."



—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1

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