PT Lion Mentari Airlines (Lion Air) is the largest privately held airline in Indonesia. It is a low-cost carrier that currently accounts for around 40 percent of market share in Indonesia's air industry, thus making it Indonesia's biggest airline in terms of domestic market share.
The company was founded by Rusdi Kirana in the late 1990s and first flew the sky in 2000. Currently, it serves over 60 destinations - both national and international (Southeast Asia and Saudi Arabia) - and operates over 226 flights per day.
Lion Air is still banned from flying to the European Union due to safety issues.
|Industry Sub Sector||Aviation|
|Main Hub||Jakarta; Soekarno-Hatta International Airport|
Lion Air made global headlines when in November 2011 it ordered 230 aircrafts from Boeing for the price of USD $21.7 billion. This purchase involved 201 737 MAX aircrafts and 29 737-900 ER aircrafts and will boost the airline's fleet to more than 400 aircrafts by 2017. In March 2013, Lion Air ordered a record-breaking 234 airplanes from France-based Airbus for a combined price of €18.4 billion (USD $24 billion). Through these record-breaking purchases, Lion Air is well prepared to maintain or even improve its domestic market share and to take advantage of Asia Pacific's lucrative and promising aviation sector.
Overview Future Outlook of the Indonesian Aviation Business
The aviation industry in the Asia-Pacific region has shown robust growth in recent years. This region is one of the world's fastest growing regions regarding air travel. In the next 20 years, an average annual seven percent growth of air traffic is expected. Indonesia, the current engine of economic growth in Southeast Asia and one of the largest economies in the Asia-Pacific, contains a burgeoning middle class that is increasingly using airplanes for domestic and international transport. Being the world's largest archipelago (containing thousands of islands), air travel is a logical option for fast travel across the country. Moreover, Indonesia's investment grade status makes it cheaper for domestic companies to finance expansion.
|Airline Passengers Indonesia
| - Domestic (in million)
| - Foreign (in million)
Source: Ministry of Transportation
Moreover, a political development will provide new opportunities in Southeast Asia's aviation sector from 2015 onwards. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community, which aims for the member countries to become a more cohesive political and economic unity, stipulates the liberalization of air travel between its member countries starting from 2015. As other ASEAN countries contain competitive airline companies, such as Malaysia's AirAsia and Singapore Airlines, it will be vital for Indonesian airlines to be fully prepared to meet this competition.
Matters that are frustrating efficiency of Indonesia's aviation business are shortages of human resources (for example pilots), inadequate air traffic management as well as lacking facilitating infrastructure for air travel. The latter includes the lack of appropriate sized airports (including runways) and tollways/railway tracks to and from airports.
Another stumbling block is that tough competition has seriously reduced profit margins for the airlines, while capital investments remain high. In combination with poor management, this has taken a few victims in recent years: Mandala Airlines (a takeover by private equity firm Saratoga Capital and Tiger Airways eventually saved the company), Pacific Royale, and Batavia Air.
Top Ten Largest Indonesian Airlines by Air Passengers in 2012:
all airlines in the table above - except for Garuda Indonesia and Indonesia AirAsia - are banned from flying to the Eurozone due to safety concerns
Source: Investor Daily
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