Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air has placed a firm order with Airbus for 234 A320-family aircraft, among them 109 A320neos, 65 A321neos and 60 A320 current engine option aircraft.
The deal sees the carrier become a new customer for Airbus. Until now Lion Air has been a confirmed – and huge – customer for the Boeing 737 family for its mainline operation, as well as ordering five Boeing 787-8 widebodies in order to start a new long-haul airline called Batik Air.
Lion Air finalized its massive Airbus order on March 18 at a special ceremony at the Elysée Palace in Paris in the presence of President François Hollande of France, who witnessed the signing of documents by Rusdi Kirana, co-founder and CEO of Lion Air Group; and Fabrice Brégier, president and CEO of Airbus.
In a single class lay-out the Airbus A320 can seat up to 180 passengers, while the Airbus A321neo featuring the latest cabin configuration options can carry up to 236 passengers.
Lion Air Group will use the aircraft to meet growth requirements on its expanding domestic and regional route network. The carrier will announce engine selections for the aircraft in the near future, according to Airbus.
“The fuel-efficient A320 family will enable Lion Air to achieve the lowest possible operating costs and continue to offer the most competitive fares in the Asian region,” said Kirana. “This landmark order will ensure that the Lion Air Group will continue its expansion with one of the most modern and advanced fleets in the world.”
To date some 9,400 Airbus A320-family aircraft have been ordered and more than 5,400 delivered to more than 380 customers and operators worldwide. The A320ceo and A320neo share airframe commonality of more than 95 per cent, enabling seamless operation of the various models in a single fleet, according to Airbus.
Since taking to the skies in 2000, Jakarta-based Lion Air has become one of Asia’s fastest-growing airlines. Today the group operates an extensive network covering more than 70 destinations in Indonesia and South East Asia.
When Batik Air is launched with the delivery of Lion Air Group’s five Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, the network list will expand to include long-haul destinations on other continents.
Lion Air is already the largest customer for the Boeing 737-900ER, with 157 in service and on order. The Indonesian airline placed Boeing’s largest order ever on February 14, 2012, when the carrier ordered 201 Boeing 737 MAX 9 jets and 29 more Boeing 737-900ERs, taking options on another 150 aircraft.
To date Lion Air has ordered or leased a total of 28 Boeing 737-800s, 157 Boeing 737-900ERs and 201 Boeing 737 MAX 9 jets, as well as five Boeing 787-8s. It also currently operates two Boeing 737-300s, five 737-400s, two Boeing 747-400 widebodies and one Boeing MD-90.
Lion Air Group has also previously ordered 20 ATR 72-500 and 40 ATR 72-600 turboprop regional airliners for its fast-growing regional subsidiary Wings Air.