Lion Group stated (01-Nov-2013) its affiliate in Thailand, Thai Lion Air, on 01-Nov-2013 unveiled one of its Boeing 737-900ERs, a 215-seat all-economy class configuration aircraft. Thai Lion Air will be the first airline in Thailand to operate the 737-900ER. Thai Lion Air CEO Capt Darsito Hendro Septro said the carrier hopes to launch operations in early Dec-2013, subject to regulatory approval. Its first three routes are to be Bangkok to: Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Capt Darsito says the airline has two aircraft, the second of which arrived in Bangkok on 31-Oct-2013, following a ferry flight from Seattle. Capt Darsito says the airline aims to add eight more aircraft in 2014, the first of which will come in Jan-2014 to facility to launch of servics to Singapore and destinations in southern China. He also says Thai Lion Air is speaking with its 49% shareholder Lion Group about adding 787-8s and using these aircraft to launch services to Japan and South Korea. Capt Darsito says he would like Lion Group to allocate it two 787-8s in 2016. Lion Group has five 787-8s on order with options for five more.
Thai Lion Air unveils 737-900s, planning for early Dec-2013 launch. Planning to add 787-8s to fleet
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Lion Group expands fleet by 16 aircraft in 1H2016, surpassing the 250 aircraft milestone
Indonesia-based Lion Group expanded its fleet by 16 aircraft in 1H2016, cementing its position as the largest airline group in Southeast Asia. Lion now has a fleet of more than 250 aircraft while its rival AirAsia – the region’s second largest group – has under 200 aircraft based in Southeast Asia.
However a net gain of 16 aircraft over the last six months marks a slowdown for Lion. The group’s fleet grew by 59 aircraft in 2015 and 39 aircraft in 2014.
None of Lion Group’s five airline subsidiaries or affiliates added more than five aircraft in 1H2016, resulting in relatively modest capacity expansion. The rate of expansion will likely pick up in 2H2016 but not approach previous levels.
China is not the only game in town: Asia’s other aviation growth markets
China captures headlines and imaginations in terms of market growth potential, and rightly so - it will generate 100 million tourists annually by the end of this decade. But there are other markets in Southeast Asia that show high potential and remarkable promise for future growth opportunities.
The large aircraft order book hovering over the region has attracted significant attention from the global industry in recent years. Much of this is directed at short haul markets, as new LCCs expand and regional commerce develops. While the rate of growth has been slowing, the order book suggests at some point the rate of LCC growth in Southeast Asia will re-accelerate. Southeast Asian LCCs currently have over 1,100 orders, including almost 90 widebody aircraft. LCCs currently account for about 75% of orders among Southeast Asian airlines but only about 33% of the active fleet. Even when factoring in replacements the size of the LCC fleet should more than double over the next decade.
Three Southeast Asian markets recorded double-digit passenger growth in 2015 – Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia – while another three experienced high single-digit growth – the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar. Indonesia and Malaysia have struggled recently but should see faster growth rates again in the medium to long term. Indonesia, with its 200 million population, is perhaps the quiet medium term performer. Thailand and Vietnam, for now, remain the hottest markets in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is also intriguing, but much smaller.