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
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Southeast Asia should continue to experience rapid growth in 2017 and beyond. Vietnam and Myanmar will likely again lead the pack in 2017, joined by Malaysia. The Philippines should experience growth of approximately 10% for the third consecutive year, also putting it towards the top of the pack.
However, overcapacity remains a long term concern, pressuring yields and profitability. The average profit margin of the Southeast Asian airline sector significantly lagged the global average in 2016, and this trend will likely continue in 2017.