Indonesian no-frills airline Lion Air signed a contract Wednesday with Hawker Beechcraft Corporation worth US$64 million to purchase Hawker 900XP mid-size business jets.
The contract, which was signed by Lion Air president director Rusdi Kirana and Hawker Beechcraft vice president of sales for Asia Pacific and India Daniel Keady, covers an order for two aircraft with options for two more aircraft, Lion Air said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
The purchased Hawker 900XPs are a newly built business jet, made in 2012, which could carry 11 people including crew.
Powered by two TFE731-50R turbofan engines, the aircraft can fly six hours non-stop with a ceiling of 12,400 meters above sea level and a maximum range of 5,213 kilometers. This means the aircraft can fly directly from Jakarta to Hong Kong, Jayapura or Timika.
Lion Air said currently its pilots and engineers were undergoing training to operate and maintain the business jets, which will be delivered midyear. The airline said the aircraft will be directly marketed and operated upon arrival.
The purchase of business jets is meant to develop Lion Air’s business by providing limited and special charter services. The demand for charter flights has been increasing rapidly as national business entities have expanded across the country and region while maintaining their headquarters in Jakarta.
Therefore, Lion said, if executives of those companies wanted to travel flexibly, they would have to take chartered flights according to their schedules.
Lion will start marketing the chartered flights in March.
Meanwhile, Hawker Beechcraft said in a media statement posted on its website that the aircraft “are scheduled for delivery in the second and third quarters of 2012”.
“We’re proud that the Hawker 900XP is Lion Air’s selection to support the airline as it branches out into charter services,” Keady said in the statement.
“Its performance and value, backed by the solid reputation of Hawker, make the 900XP an excellent charter aircraft for the Asia-Pacific region.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Lion Air signed a contract on Tuesday to buy 230 of the popular narrow-body aircraft Boeing 737 at the Singapore Airshow in Changi, as a follow up to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed in Bali on Nov. 18, 2011.
The $22.4 billion contract, the largest commercial contract in aviation history, covers the purchase of 29 Boeing 737-900 ERs and 201 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.