80 New Aircraft for Lion Air Group?

A Lion Air 737 taxis for takeoff.
Photo Credit: Andrew Thomas CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Indonesia-based Lion Air has plans for a fleet expansion this year – increasing its footprint in the emerging Asia region. 

According to local news source Tempo, the Lion Air Group hopes to induct 80 more aircraft to its fleet this in 2023.

The group also aims to move on from its traditional market base of South East Asia to South Asia, with countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. Other possible countries may include the Maldives. 

At a conference in Jakarta in December, Lion Air Group’s Daniel Putut Kuncoro Ad mentioned that Lion Air Group welcomed 43 new aircraft in the past year.

Daniel mentioned that these additional aircraft represented approximately half of what the Indonesian-based group needed to fulfil a sufficient operation. The group hopes that the additional 80 jets will make up for the shortcomings. 

Who’s in the Lion Air Group? 

The Indonesian-based group includes a multitude of airliners, with most of them operating narrow-body jets. These six airlines include Lion Air, Wings Air (Indonesia), Super Air Jet, Batik Air, Batik Air Malaysia, and Thai Lion Air.

The total fleet of the six combined airlines is 317 aircraft.  Its Indonesian divisions operate the most aircraft out of the 314 active aircraft, with 287 aircraft.

Out of the Indonesian division, Lion Air takes the crown with 111 aircraft, followed by Super Air Jet and Batik Air. 

Who’s getting a slice of the pie? 

At this point, we still do not know how the potential 80 aircraft coming in 2023 will be distributed. Since all airlines within the Lion Air umbrella have experienced exponential growth in demand and air travel, it may be possible that the ordered aircraft will go to all airlines, but the allocation is still yet to be announced.  

Lion Air Indonesia has the latest orders which include 113 A320-300neo and 65 A321-200neo aircraft in its order book with Airbus. The airline also has unfulfilled orders from Boeing of 230 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. 

More Growth 

The airline announced that it aims to increase its frequencies between Indonesia to the respective airports of Singapore Changi, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Penang in 2023. The airline also has plans to launch routes to numerous South Asian destinations. 

Kuncoro Adi said in a statement in Investor. id. : “We are adding several routes, especially to South Asia. We are still in talks with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan. We have explored them. Hopefully, in 2023, additional international routes will be implemented,”

Home market still lucrative

Given the amount of traffic between South East Asia and South Asia, this year is a good period to capitalise on the immense traffic surge between the two Asian sub-regions.

With the airline launching new routes to South Asia, the airline also exerted its importance on its domestic market.

Quoted by Tempo.co in an event in Jakarta, Kuncoro Adi stated: “Because geographically and demographically, we still need air transportation. So we are optimistic to provide air transportation in Indonesia.”

In summary

The new additional aircraft signifies the group’s bullishness in air travel in the next decade and beyond. Air travel within Indonesia is still king, given its complicated geography making maritime travel less convenient.

With overall growth in demography in the region, apart from Thailand and Singapore, the additional aircraft will support the realised demand in the near future.

By Indy Udol 4 Min Read
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