Thai Lion Air unveils expansion plans

1 Nov 2013 by Clement Huang

Thai Lion Air has unveiled one of its Boeing 737-900ERs. The Thai affiliate of Indonesia’s largest privately run airline Lion Air will be the first carrier in Thailand to operate the aircraft.

The Boeing 737-900ER will feature an all-economy configuration and offer 215 seats. The carrier hopes to launch services in early December, subject to regulatory approval.

Operating out of Bangkok Don Mueang, the airline will first fly to three destinations, namely Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.

Thai Lion Air’s chief executive, Capt Darsito Hendro Seputro revealed that the carrier would initially feature a fleet of two Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, with another eight to be added next year.

Upon taking delivery of the first of the additional eight aircraft, Thai Lion Air will aim to launch services to Singapore as well as to destinations in Southern China.\

Darsito also stated that the airline was speaking with its 49 per cent shareholder Lion Group about the possibility of adding the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to its fleet, and using the aircraft to launch services to Japan and South Korea. Lion has not disclosed its partner in Thailand, and will only formally reveal it should the carrier succeed in securing an air operator's certificate.

Lion Group currently has five Dreamliner aircraft on order from Boeing, with an option for five more. The B787-8 has proven a popular choice for other low-cost carriers, with Jetstar having taken delivery of its first last month (see here).

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Clement Huang

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