HAVING never flown before, Donna Olsen was astounded to learn she was the 10 millionth passenger to fly with Tiger Airways in Australia.
As the passenger who marked that milestone, Ms Olsen was presented with a $1000 voucher for future flights with the airline company.
She was boarding a flight at Mackay Airport yesterday with her daughters Brittney and Abby.
"I got a phone call yesterday (Monday) and they told me I was the 10 millionth passenger," Ms Olsen said.
"I was really surprised and I still am.
"This is the first time I have ever been flying."
Ms Olsen said the family were heading to Melbourne on a direct flight and then on to South Australia to visit family.
"The voucher will come in handy for future visits," she said.
"We're actually planning heading back down there at Christmas time.
"I'm a fan of the cheap prices and direct flights Tiger offers."
She said she had to leave three of her children behind.
"I couldn't take them all," Ms Olsen said.
"But we're very excited about the voucher."
Tiger Airways Australia's commercial director Carly Brear said the company's first flight in Australia was in November 2007.
"Tiger's presence brings healthy competition and local economic benefits to Australia," Ms Brear said. "Ten million passengers is a significant achievement."
"We would like to thank everyone who has chosen to fly Tiger to date. We're delighted 10 million people have chosen to fly with us to date here in Australia."
The budget airline carrier returned to Mackay last December 18 after an almost 18 month hiatus.
ALTHOUGH no Mackay-specific statistics can be provided on Tiger Airways' performance, the airline's passenger numbers throughout Australia have significantly increased in the past year.
Operating statistics for the airline company showed Tiger Australia carried 281,000 passengers, representing an increase of 108% on the previous year.
The airline was operating at a significantly reduced capacity and on a limited schedule a year ago, the statistics showed.
"We've been really pleased with the support the people of Mackay have shown Tiger since we returned to Mackay," Tiger Airways commercial director Carly Brear said.
"We're delighted to have carried 10 million passengers and furthermore that we celebrated this milestone in Mackay.
" All we can ask is that the residents of Mackay continue to support Tiger.
"Our consistently great value airfares mean you can get away more often to visit friends and family in Sydney and Melbourne."
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