Reports: Lion Air to launch new LCC

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Published: September 13, 2012

Lion Air 737-900. By Rob Finlayson

Indonesian carrier Lion Air (JT) will reportedly launch a low-cost carrier (LCC), Malindo, to begin services in May 2013, according to a Bloomberg report. The Kuala Lumpur-based carrier will offer domestic and international services to Thailand, China, India, Japan and Australia.  Malindo is a joint venture between JT and Malaysia’s National Aerospace and Defense Industries. Neither could be reached for comment.

According to Malaysian media, Malindo will begin operations with a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-900ERs, “which is scheduled to expand to a hundred within a decade.”

JT president director  Rusdi Kirana was quoted by Bloomberg as saying the LCC will sell tickets matching “or maybe lower” than AirAsia’s (AK), which seems to have already welcomed the competition.

“It’s great. The more asean (sic) airlines are allowed the better,” tweeted AK CEO Tony Fernandes. “I think Malindo is more problematic for Malaysia Airlines, not AirAsia. We have a very strong position in Malaysia and are really a regional company,” Fernandes added.

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