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Jakarta Post

Editorial: Concern over Lion’s expansion

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 21 2013   /  10:13 am

The move by Lion Air, Indonesia’s second largest air carrier, earlier this week to expand its fleet by 234 jetliners of the A320 series worth US$24 billion once again shows the huge potential market for air travel within the world’s largest archipelagic country.

 The giant Airbus order, made only one year after Lion’s purchase of 230 airplanes of the Boeing 737-800/900 series valued at $21.7 billion, has certainly gained worldwide publicity, putting Lion Air, which was little known even in Indonesia before 2000, in the global list of high-growth budget carriers.

 However, the capacity jump also raises concerns over the safety of air travel in Indonesia and the commercial viability of such an aggressive, if not reckless, fleet expansion in view of the big risks of unsustainable debt burdens.

Such concerns are reasonable in view of the acute shortage of...