The airline recently named the cheapest in the world could start flying to New Zealand, according to remarks made at the International Air Transport Association's Conference in Sydney this week.

Virgin Australia's group chief executive Rob Sharp said it was possible for Virgin to bring budget Tigerair to New Zealand in the future.

Sharp was not specific on any details, saying it was only a possibility rather than a certainty.

Tigerair Australia was recently dubbed the cheapest airline in the world in Rome2rio's 2018 Global Flight Price Ranking, which analysed economy fares on international and domestic airlines around the world.


Its flights cost US$0.06 (NZ$0.09) a kilometre, according to the report.

The airline currently flies internally between Australian destinations, with prices from Sydney to Melbourne costing around $80 one-way.

As is often the case with challenger brands, Tigerair has also garnered a reputation for massive promotions. In October last year, for instance, the airline offered return flights to various Australian destinations for only $1.

While the airline has also been seen as an affordable option, it faced years of bad press, being voted Australia's worst airline three years in a row, before being acquired by Virgin in 2014.

The new ownership has seen the airline improve its reputation and service.

Virgin first suggested the launch of Tigerair in New Zealand after an acrimonious split from Air New Zealand earlier this year.

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Bargain hunters would welcome the move. Lower fares are a possibility if capacity is retained, although taxes and charges mean they can only fall so far.

Since breaking up with Virgin, Air New Zealand has signed a partnership with Qantas, which owns Jetstar.

Should Virgin introduce cross-Tasman flights on Tigerair, competition between the budget carriers could ramp up in the future.

Jetstar also featured prominently on the list of cheapest airlines, coming in at fourth place, behind AirAsia X and Indonesia AirAsia.