The Jakarta Post
Indonesia's largest private airline, Lion Air, officially welcomed its 150th Boeing 737 Next Generation on Wednesday as part of the carrier's massive expansion plan.
'This is part of the carrier's bookings that total 794 new aircraft that will be gradually received until 2030,' Lion Air general director Edward Sirait said in a statement on Wednesday.
'Until the end of 2015, the Lion Air Group will continue to bring in a total of 27 aircraft consisting of Boeing, Airbus and ATR to increase the carrier's seating capacity to supply both domestic and regional flights,' he continued.
Currently Lion Air, Batik Air and Wings Air are flying 126 domestic routes, with 554 daily flights.
Lion Air Group director of airports Capt. Daniel Putut Kuncoro Adi previously said that the new aircraft would also be placed on standby in Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan and Makassar to ensure that the carrier has backups to face any issues.
In 2012, Lion Air signed a deal with the US aircraft manufacturer to purchase 201 Boeing 737 MAX and 29 Next Generation 737 ER aircraft.
Boeing has taken Lion Air orders for more than 400 planes, which they aim to fly across the Asia-Pacific region to meet robust passenger growth, despite the lingering uncertainties of the global economy.
During the Paris Air Show in June, state-owned carrier Garuda Indonesia and private carrier
PT Sriwijaya Air Group also signed orders for Boeing and France-based aircraft manufacturer Airbus airplanes.
Garuda placed orders for 60 new planes from Boeing and 30
wide-body planes from Airbus to handle new long-haul and mid-range routes and replace its aging fleet.
Meanwhile, Sriwijaya signed an order for 20 Boeing 737s to expand the carrier's domestic and international network.
Indonesia will be the world's fifth largest domestic market for air transport by 2034, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The country will be a market of 270 million passengers, 191 million of whom will fly domestic routes by 2034.
Based on the association's analysis of the 10 largest air-passenger markets defined by traffic to, from and within, for the period of 2014 to 2034, the country would enter the top 10 around 2020 and attain sixth place by 2029.
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