Lion Air

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Not to be confused with Lionair or Lionair (Luxembourg).
Lion Air
Lion Air.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 19 October 1999[1]
Commenced operations 30 June 2000
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Lion Air Passport Club
Airport lounge Lion King Lounge
Fleet size 111
Destinations 126
Company slogan We make people fly
Headquarters Lion Air Tower, Jalan KH. Hasyim Ashari, Jakarta, Indonesia
Key people

Rusdi Kirana (Chairman)

Rudy Lumingkewas (CEO)

PT Lion Mentari Airlines, operating as Lion Air, is an Indonesian low-cost carrier. Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Lion Air is the country's largest privately run airline, the second largest low-cost airline in the Southeast Asia after AirAsia and the second largest airline of Indonesia, flying to 79 destinations in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia,[2] as well as charter routes to China and Hong Kong.[3]

Established in 1999, Lion Air has seen tremendous growth in the past several years, having acquired over 100 aircraft with nearly 500 more on order.[citation needed] The airline has repeatedly broken records for largest aircraft orders, such as its $24 billion order for 234 Airbus A320 jets, as well as its $22.4 billion order for 230 competing aircraft from Boeing.[2] It had once been criticized for poor operational management in areas such as scheduling and safety, although steps have been taken to improve its safety: on June 16, 2016, the European Union lifted the ban it had placed on Lion Air from flying into European airspace.[4]

Lion Air operates over 100 Boeing 737-800/900ER aircraft. The airline has been characterised by its rapid expansion and the success of its low-cost business model. The airline holds minority shareholdings in associate companies based in Thailand (Thai Lion Air) and Malaysia (Malindo Air).[citation needed]


The Yakovlev Yak-42D, the first aircraft of Lion Air, landing in Singapore

The airline was established in October 1999 by brothers Rusdi and Kusnan Kirana and started operations on 30 June 2000, when it began scheduled passenger services between Jakarta and Denpasar using a leased Boeing 737-200. It was the first low cost airline in Indonesia. The fleet was quickly expanded with the wet-lease of 5 Yakovlev Yak-42Ds, 2 McDonnell Douglas MD-82s and 2 sub-leased Airbus A310-300s. Rapid growth enabled modernisation of the fleet with Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 737-400 aircraft. In 2003 a subsidiary airline was established, Wings Air, operating flights on lower density routes. Further subsidiaries were developed including Malindo Air in Malaysia in 2012, Thai Lion Air in Thailand in 2013 and domestically, Batik Air, a full-service subsidiary, also in 2013.[5]

The airline is planning to join IATA and therefore hoping to become the second IATA Indonesian member carrier after Garuda Indonesia. Lion Air failed, in early 2011, the initial IATA assessments for membership due to safety concerns. Lion Air and Boeing are pioneering the use of required navigation performance (RNP) procedures in Indonesia, having successfully performed validation flights at the two terrain-challenged airports of Ambon and Manado.[6]

From 19 July 2011, Lion Air has grounded 13 planes due to sanction caused by bad on-time performance (OTP). The transportation ministry recorded that Lion Air's OTP of 66.45 percent was the worst of six airlines in an assessment conducted from January to April 2011 at 24 airports nationwide.[7][8] On the other hand, airlines using Jakarta airport face considerable delays to their schedules due to runway congestion.[9]

On 18 November 2011, the airline jointly announced with Boeing a record-setting order of 201 Boeing 737 MAX and 29 Boeing 737-900ER planes, setting the record for the world's biggest single order of 230 planes for a commercial airline worth $21.7 billion.[10]

PK-LHG, A Lion Air Boeing 747-400 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

In January 2012, the Transportation Ministry said that it sanctioned Lion Air because some of its pilots and crew members were found in recent months to be in possession of crystal methamphetamine. In late 2011 Muhammad Nasri and two other co-pilots were arrested at a party in Tangerang; in early 2012 a pilot was caught with crystal meth in Makassar.[11] On 4 February 2012, another Lion Air pilot was arrested following a positive urinalysis test for use of methamphetamine; he was scheduled to fly the SurabayaMakassarBalikpapan—Surabaya flight hours later.[12] The licenses of the pilots and crew were revoked.

In June 2016 Lion Air was removed from the list of blacklisted airlines to fly into the EU.[13]


Main article: Lion Air destinations

As of January 2014 Lion Air serves a total of 120 destinations, 100 domestic and 20 international.


The Boeing customer code for Lion Air is GP, which appears in their aircraft designation as a suffix, such as 737-8GP and 737-9GPER.

Current fleet[edit]

Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER in 50th livery

As of February 2016, the Lion Air fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 5.1 years:[14][15][16]

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A320-200 38 TBA
Airbus A320neo 118
Airbus A321neo 65
Airbus A330-300 3 440 440 For Hajj flights, and for domestic high-demand routes (Jakarta to Denpasar, Medan, Padang and Makassar).[17][18]
Boeing 737-800 37 8 189 189 Will be fitted with split scimitar winglets by Aviation Partners Inc.
Boeing 737-900ER 71 35 214 214 Will be fitted with split scimitar winglets by Aviation Partners Inc.
Boeing 737 MAX 201 TBA Order consists of both MAX 8 and 9. Launch Customer for MAX 9 version. Deliveries to begin 2017
Total 111 469

Special Liveries[edit]

Registration Livery Aircraft
PK-LFF Boeing livery Boeing 737-900ER
PK-LHY 50th livery
PK-LJO 60th livery
PK-LJZ 70th livery
PK-LKP 80th livery Boeing 737-800
PK-LKV 90th livery
PK-LOF 100th livery Boeing 737-900ER
PK-LPJ 150th livery Boeing 737-800


Lion Air was the launch customer of the 737-900ER, seen here on the type's first flight

Lion Air was the launch customer for the largest variant of the Boeing 737, the 737-900ER, for which it placed an order in 2005. On 26 May 2005, Lion Air signed a preliminary agreement with Boeing for the purchase of up to 60 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, valued at $3.9 billion at list prices. Lion Air confirmed their order in July 2005 and became the launch customer for the Boeing 737-900ER with firm orders for 30 aircraft and options for 30 more, which were later converted into firm orders. The -900ER can carry up to 215 passengers in a single-class layout, and is powered by CFM56-7B turbofan engines. On 27 April 2007, Boeing delivered the first 737-900ER to Lion Air. The aircraft was delivered in a special dual-paint scheme that combines Lion Air's logo on its vertical stabilizer and the Boeing "Dreamliner" livery on the fuselage.

Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER (registration PK-LPF)

Lion Air set a world record when it placed an order for 230 aircraft from Boeing, making this the largest order in terms of aircraft ordered as well the cost of the order. In November 2011, Lion Air and Boeing announced that the airline planned to buy 29 additional 737-900ER and 201 737 MAX aircraft, with options for 150 more, valued at $21.7 billion at the time.[10] A firm order was signed on 14 February 2012, with the 737 MAX aircraft identified as 737 MAX 9s, making Lion Air the launch customer for that variant.[19] By the time of the signing, the order's value had risen to $22.4 billion at list prices, the largest aircraft order in history.[19] Additionally, the engines for the -900ERs, CFM 56-7s, cost about $580 million and the engines for the MAXs, CFM LEAP-1Bs, cost about $4.8 billion.[19] Deliveries of the additional -900ERs are to start in 2016, with the MAXs to follow in 2017.[19]

On Monday 18 March 2013 Lion Air placed an order for 234 A320 jets with Airbus, the largest single order ever made surpassing previous record by Boeing ($22.4 Billion). The contract, which was signed at the Elysée Palace in the presence of President François Hollande and several government ministers, is worth €18.4 billion ($24 billion) at catalogue prices, the French presidency said.[20]

Former fleet[edit]

Airbus A310 the former fleet of Lion Air in the Mojave Desert, California
Aircraft Total Operated Retired Note
Airbus A310 2
Boeing 737-200 2
Boeing 737-400 10 2004 January 2015 Last flight was PK-LIS in Terminal 3
Boeing 737-800 1 Crashed as Lion Air Flight 904
Boeing 747-400 2 2009 March 2016 Replaced by Airbus A330-300
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 17 One crashed as Lion Air Flight 538
McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 5 2005 March 2012
Yakovlev Yak-42 1 2001 2002

EU aviation blacklist[edit]

Lion Air, along with Wings Air and Batik Air, was one of several Indonesian carriers banned from operating in European airspace, because of the European Commission's concerns about the Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation's (DGCA) ability to provide proper regulatory oversight of the country's airline industry. Lion Air was removed from the EU's blacklist on June 16, 2016 and now is allowed to fly to any EU country.[21]

Market share[edit]

Circle frame.svg

Aviation market share in Indonesia (2015)[22]

  Lion Air (41.6%)
  Garuda Indonesia (23.5%)
  Sriwijaya Air (10.4%)
  Citilink (8.9%)
  Wings Air (4.7%)
  Others (6.5%)

In 2000s, Lion Air began grow and become a serious rival for Garuda Indonesia in domestic air travel in Indonesia. By mid 2015, Lion Air rules Indonesia's domestic air travel market share by 41.6 percent, while Garuda Indonesia came in second with 23.5 percent share. Sriwijaya Air came in third with a market share of 10.4 percent, followed by Garuda's low-cost subsidiary Citilink (8.9 percent) and Lion Air's regional flight service Wings Air (4.7 percent). Indonesia AirAsia, a unit of the Malaysian budget airline, had a 4.4 percent market share.[22]

Overall, Indonesian domestic air travel business is overwhelmingly ruled by two groups; Lion Air group and Garuda Indonesia group. By mid 2015, Lion Air group accounted for 43.17 percent of market share, while Garuda Indonesia group had a 37.08 percent market share.[23]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 14 January 2002, Lion Air Flight 386, a Boeing 737-200 crashed on take-off and was written off at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport. Everyone on board survived.
  • On 30 November 2004, Lion Air Flight 538, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashed in Surakarta with registration PK-LMN (c/n 49189); 25 people died.[24]
  • On 4 March 2006, Lion Air Flight 8987, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, crashed after landing at Juanda International Airport.[25] Reverse thrust was used during landing, although the left thrust reverser was stated to be out of service.[25] This caused the aircraft to veer to the right and skid off the runway, coming to rest about 7,000 feet (2,100 m) from the approach end of the runway.[25] There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was badly damaged.[25]
  • On 24 December 2006, Lion Air Flight 792, a Boeing 737-400, landed with an incorrect flap configuration and was not aligned with the runway.[26] The plane landed hard and skidded along the runway causing the right main landing gear to detach, the left gear to protrude through the wing and some of the aircraft fuselage to be wrinkled.[26] There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was written off.[26]
  • On 23 February 2009, Lion Air Flight 972, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 landed without the nose gear at Hang Nadim International Airport, Batam.
  • On 9 March 2009, Lion Air Flight 793, a McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 (registration PK-LIL) ran off the runway at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. No-one was injured.[27]
  • On 2 November 2010, Lion Air Flight 712, a Boeing 737-400 (registration PK-LIQ) overran the runway on landing at Supadio Airport, Pontianak, coming to rest on its belly and sustaining damage to its nose gear. All 174 passengers and crew evacuated by the emergency slides, with few injuries.[28]
  • On 13 April 2013, Lion Air Flight 904, a Boeing 737-800 (registration PK-LKS; c/n 38728) from Bandung to Denpasar with 108 people on board, crashed into the water near Denpasar/Bali while attempting to land. The aircraft’s fuselage broke into two parts.[29] While Indonesian officials reported the aircraft crashed short of the runway,[29] reporters and photographers from Reuters and the Associated Press indicated that the plane overshot the runway.[30][31] All passengers and crew were evacuated from the aircraft and there were no fatalities.[29]
  • On 6 August 2013, Lion Air Flight 892, a Boeing 737-800 (registration PK-LKH; c/n 37297) from Makassar to Gorontalo with 117 passengers and crew on board, collided into a cow on the runway at Jalaluddin Airport and subsequently overran the runway. All people on board survived,[32] but the cow was killed.[33]
  • On 1 February 2014, Lion Air Flight 361, a Boeing 737-900ER (registration PK-LFH; c/n 35710), from Balikpapan Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar/Bali via Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, with 222 passengers and crew on board, landed hard and bounced four times on the runway, causing a tail strike and substantial damage to the plane. There were no fatalaties, but two passengers were seriously injured and three others had minor injuries.[34]
  • On 20 February 2016, Lion Air flight 263 from Balikpapan Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport to Juanda International Airport in Surabaya landed run off the runway. There were no fatalities in this accident.

Revocation of routes[edit]

On January 9, 2015, following the fatal crash of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501, 53 routes operated by Lion Air and its subsidiaries were revoked by the transportation ministry as they had not been approved to fly. Among the 61 routes, Lion Air had the largest share.[35]

Private jet business[edit]

In early 2012, the Transportation Ministry said that the airline was processing an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for their private business jets. Private-jet services will be launched in the third quarter of 2012 with 4 of nine-seater jets Hawker 900 XP. The aim is to serve clients from the country's mining industry and will compete with Susi Air and Royal Jet.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2013 Laureate Award Nominees, Aviation Week & Space Technology, 21 January 2013, p. 47
  2. ^ a b "Airbus-Boeing battle shifts to Indonesia | Inquirer Business". 24 March 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 106. 
  4. ^ "EU Lifts IranAir, Indonesia's Lion Air from Safety Blacklist". BeritaSatu. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  5. ^ "The Lion Roars". Airliner World: 88–96. February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Boeing, Lion Air pioneer precision satellite navigation technology". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Lion Air Should Grounded 13 Planes
  8. ^ "Lion, Batavia pledge to improve performance". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Citrinot, Luc (18 November 2010). "JAKARTA AIRPORT CONGESTION Some solutions to decongest Jakarta Soekarno Hatta Airport?". Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Boeing sets record with $22 billion order". CNN Money. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Lion air sanctioned over pilots with crystal meth". 11 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Lagi, Pilot Lion Air Nyabu Ditangkap BNN". 4 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "EU allows Iran's state carrier to resume flights in bloc". Reuters. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2016-09-20. 
  14. ^ "AeroTransport Data Bank". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Lion Air Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "Lion Airlines". ch-aviation. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  17. ^ PT. VIVA MEDIA BARU - "Penerbangan ke Jeddah, Lion Air Pesan Tiga Pesawat Airbus". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Flight history for aircraft - PK-LEF". 
  19. ^ a b c d "Lion Air Firms Up Boeing Order". Aviation International News. 14 February 2012. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Disaksikan Presiden Prancis, Lion Air Pesan 234 Pesawat Airbus A320". 18 March 2013. 
  21. ^ Ballantyne, Tom (13 June 2008). "Orient Aviation". Orient Aviation magazine. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "Lion Loses Market Share as Air Travel Growth Slows". Jakarta Globe. 
  23. ^ Safyra Primadhyta & Gentur Putro Jati (2015-06-04). "Garuda Indonesia Gerus Pangsa Pasar Penumpang Domestik Lion". CNN Indonesia (in Indonesian). 
  24. ^ "Accident: Fatal Accident in 2004". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  25. ^ a b c d "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  26. ^ a b c "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  27. ^ "Lion Air Flight JT 793". Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  28. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: Lionair B734 at Pontianak on Nov 2nd 2010, overran runway on landing". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  29. ^ a b c Hradecky, Simon (14 April 2013). "Accident: Lionar B738 at Denpasar on Apr 13th 2013, came to stop in sea". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "All passengers safe as Lion Air plane overshoots runway in Bali". Daily News and Analysis. 13 April 2013. 
  31. ^ "Investigators seek cause of new Boeing 737's crash into sea". 14 April 2013. 
  32. ^ "Passenger jet skids off a runway after crashing into a cow when it was landing at airport in Indonesia". Daily Mail. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  33. ^ "Lion Air 737 Overruns Runway, Strikes Cow". NYC Aviation. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  34. ^ "Lion Air Flight JT 361". Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  35. ^ Heribertus Sulis Setyanto (January 9, 2015). "Lima Maskapai Langgar Izin Terbang, Lion Air Terbanyak". 
  36. ^ "Lion Air set to buy Hawker jets for private services". 10 February 2012. 

External links[edit]