Lion Group (Jakarta) has signed a $1 Billion purchase agreement for 40 additional ATR 72-600s from ATR, hiking the firm order total to 100 aircraft. Lion Group becomes ATR’s largest customer ever.
There are currently three subsidiary airlines in the Lion Group operating ATRs: Wings Air with a fleet of 32 ATR aircraft operating in Indonesia; Malindo Air with a fleet of 10 ATRs operating in Malaysia; and Thai Lion Air, so far with 1 ATR in operation in Thailand. These additional 40 ATR 72-600s will be used to meet the growing demand forecast over the next five years both within the Group’s existing operators’ networks and to develop other opportunities for ATR operations throughout Asia and developing markets worldwide. Deliveries of the aircraft signed today will start in 2017 and run into 2019.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Wings Air’s ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-600) PK-WGG (msn 1063) departs from Denpasar on the island of Bali.
Malindo Air (Kuala Lumpur) will launch operations with Boeing 737s on the Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu (three times daily) and Kuala Lumpur-Kuching (four times daily) routes on March 22.
Malindo Air is a joint venture between National Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI) (51%) (Malaysia) and Lion Air (Jakarta, Indonesia) (49%). The name “Malindo” is a contraction of Malaysia and Indonesia.
Next the airline will add service from Kuala Lumpur to Bintulu, Miri, Sandakan and Sibu.
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Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. The pictured Boeing 737-9GP ER 9M-LNF (msn 38687) was the first -900ER to be handed over (in a basic Lion Air color scheme) on March 14, 2013. The airliner is also a milestone delivery and carries a special 7500th Boeing 737 logo by the nose (below, courtesy of Malindo Air).
Editor’s “To The Point” Observation: This new launch will sharpen the competition between AirAsia and Lion Air. To underscore this point, please read this report from Reuters about this growing feud: