- CAPA Analysis
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- IATA Code
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- Jl. Gadjah Mada No.7, Jakpus, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
- Main hub
- Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
- Business model
- Low Cost Carrier
- Domestic | International
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- Part of Lion Group
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- Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA)
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- Thai Lion Air
Lion Air is an Indonesian hybrid airline based at Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Commencing operations in 2000 and based in Jakarta, Lion Air is the largest privately-owned airline in Indonesia. The carrier operates a network of scheduled passenger services throughout South East Asia and the Middle East.
Location of Lion Air main hub (Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport)
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Lion Air fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
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88 total articles
Thai Lion resumes international expansion with Singapore, increasing Lion Group’s presence at Changi
Indonesia-based Lion Group affiliate Thai Lion is making another move into international operations by launching service to Singapore on 15-Aug-2015. Bangkok-Singapore becomes Thai Lion’s first international route since it dropped services to Indonesia in early 2015. Thai Lion also dropped services to Malaysia in 2014.
Bangkok-Singapore is an extremely competitive route that is already well served by four LCC groups – AirAsia, Jetstar, Scoot and Tigerair. Lion Group’s entrance could be seen as a strategic move as it will give Lion a presence on all three of the largest routes from Singapore.
Lion Group’s share of Singapore’s LCC market will reach 8% in Aug-2015. Lion is still much smaller in Singapore than its rival Southeast Asian LCC groups but it is closing the gap as it expands at a time others have been reducing capacity.
Garuda Indonesia budget subsidiary Citilink has further delayed the launch of scheduled international services as it focuses on its goal of achieving its first annual profit in 2015. Citilink will instead pursue less risky domestic expansion in 2015 and has begun operating seasonal international charters during periods of weak domestic demand.
Citilink has been the fastest expanding airline in Indonesia over the past four years as it has pursued strategic growth in an attempt to close the gap with rival Lion. Citilink accounted for about 14% of passenger traffic among Indonesian LCCs in 2015 compared to less than 4% in 2010.
But Citilink’s rate of expansion is slowing as it starts to focus more on profitability. Citilink was in the black for the first time in 2H2014 and is confident it can be profitable for the full year in CY2015.
Southeast Asia is a market of both challenges and promise. 2015 will mark the second consecutive year of slower growth and potentially the second consecutive year when most airlines ended in the red. But improving market conditions, lower fuel prices and restructuring efforts should at least reduce the losses/migrate to profit and allow new growth.
The region has emerged over the past decade as one of the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, capturing the attention of global suppliers. The rapid growth has primarily been driven by fast expansion of LCCs – both independent groups and subsidiaries of full service groups. Meanwhile, flag carrier growth has stagnated.
This report is based on a review contained in CAPA's Global Aviation Outlook 2015 which appears in Airline Leader, Issue 26.
Southeast Asia recorded a significant slowdown in LCC growth in 2014 as several airlines adjusted to challenging market conditions. The region’s LCC fleet expanded by 13% aircraft compared to about 20% growth in 2013.
A similar fleet growth rate of approximately 13% is likely in 2015, following further revisions to fleet plans in response to overcapacity, which has impacted most Southeast Asian short-haul markets since 2H2013. AirAsia in particular has slowed expansion and will take only five A320s in 2015 - although rival Lion Group is again not showing any signs of slowing and plans to take about 50 aircraft for the second consecutive year with over half ending up in the dynamic Southeast Asian LCC sector.
Growth rates could pick up again in 2016 or 2017 if market conditions improve. Higher growth rates ultimately will be required for Southeast Asia’s huge LCC order book, which consists of nearly 1,200 aircraft, to remain intact. The potentially huge impact of lower fuel prices could also reshape strategies in 2015, as some LCCs record a 20% reduction in total costs.
Batik Air, the world's first full service subsidiary of an LCC group, is planning rapid expansion in 2015 as it steps up competition with Garuda Indonesia. Batik should be able at least to double its share of the Indonesian domestic market in 2015 while also entering the international market.
Batik did not meet its initial growth targets for 2014 due in part to aircraft delivery delays. But Batik has now caught up on deliveries, after taking 10 aircraft in 4Q2014, and is steadily building up its network.
The Lion Group full-service subsidiary currently serves 15 domestic destinations. It is planning to significantly grow its domestic network in 2015 as its fleet expands from 18 to nearly 40 aircraft.
Garuda Indonesia is reducing capacity across its medium and long-haul networks as the airline group increases its focus on the domestic market. Garuda has now made multiple adjustments to its international expansion plan, which has proven to be overly ambitious.
Capacity to Australia and Japan, Garuda’s two largest international markets after Singapore, is being cut as part of a restructuring of its unprofitable international operations. The cuts are a sensible response to overcapacity and intensifying competition but leave an opening for competitors, particularly long-haul low-cost start-up Indonesia AirAsia X.
Garuda will likely allocate almost all of its additional capacity in 2015 to the domestic market. The domestic expansion is partly strategic as Garuda responds to the rapid expansion of Lion Group full service subsidiary Batik Air.