December 2005/January 2006 
Volume 04, Issue 8 
Commercial Airplanes

They help Indonesia fly

Lion Air is the launch customer for the 737-900ER. Here's how the airplane fits into its growth plans


They help Indonesia flyThe motto of Lion Air, Indonesia's first low-cost carrier, is "We Make People Fly." And as the launch customer of the Boeing 737-900ER (Extended Range), the newest member of Boeing's Next-Generation 737 airplane family, the airline also is set to take off.

Lion Air, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, has been operating an all-Boeing fleet since its inception in June 2000 and in just five years has solidified itself as a market leader. Lion's recent order of up to 60 737-900ERs will further develop its expansion strategy to grow, serve existing markets better and establish new routes.

"We are delighted to be the launch customer for the 737-900ER. We are confident that this outstanding aircraft will contribute to the expansion and modernization of our fleet," said Rusdi Kirana, Lion Air president director. "We believe the aircraft will improve operational efficiencies and contribute to revenue growth."

Lion Air's network includes 25 cities in Indonesia. In 2004, Lion Air carried nearly 1 million passengers. By the end of 2005, the airline expects to carry more than 7 million passengers and capture 27 percent of the country's market share. Indonesia, with its population of more than 240 million, is the world's fourth-largest country by population and is an attractive market for the airline industry.

"We strongly believe this fleet will help meet Lion Air's strategic goals," said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Sales, South-Southeast Asia. "With more range and the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle jet in its class, the 737-900ER is an ideal fit to deliver premier service at an affordable price, which will help drive passenger growth."

Lion Air at a glance

Founded: 1999; first flight on June 30, 2000

Headquartered: Jakarta, Indonesia

Main hub: Jakarta, but serves all 18 provinces of Indonesia

Employees: 4,000

Fleet: All-Boeing fleet currently includes six 737-400s, five MD-90s and 18 MD-80s

Major routes/cities served: Primarily domestic within Indonesia, with service also to Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia; and Singapore

The 737-900ER is the same size as today's 737-900. But blended winglets, other advanced-technology wing enhancements and auxiliary fuel tanks will give the 737-900ER an increased range of 3,200 nautical miles (5,900 kilometers)—500 nautical miles more than the 737-900. Delivery of Lion Air's first 737-900ER is expected in the first half of 2007.

Lion Air believes the Boeing 737-900ER is key to its future growth, innovation and position as a strong competitor in such a lucrative market, according to Paul Dubeck, Commercial Airplanes senior sales director, Southeast Asia.

The deregulation of the Indonesian airline industry in 1999 altered the competitive landscape, Dubeck said. Before then, there were only five scheduled airlines. Currently, there are more than 25 airlines operating in the country. The increase in the number of airline passengers in the last few years has been impressive, Dubeck added.

"The swift shift in this market makes it even more important for Lion Air to leverage its position and further expand to meet industry and customer demands," he said.

Lion Air's choice in the 737-900ER will help it remain nimble in the evolving business environment.

"The new Boeing fleet will help improve the efficiency and productivity of our airline, as well as strengthen our competitive position by expanding our routes within the region and to new destinations within the rapidly growing market," Kirana said.

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