Our AirInsight affiliate has published a short report in its e-newsletter (subscription only) about a new battle emerging among LCCs in Asia.
A new head-to-head battle appears to be shaping up in Asia.
Indonesia’s LionAir announced plans to create a new LCC, Malindo, which will be based in Malaysia and take on AirAsia.
AirAsia previously announced plans to acquire Indonesia’s Batavia Air—a deal that’s under regulator review and which may or may not consummate—in a bid to further penetrate the Indonesian market against LionAir.
AirAsia and LionAir are the two behemoths in the region, excluding flag carriers. AirAsia operates 100 Airbus A320s and has 272 more on order. It is poised to place an order for up to 100 more any day now. AirAsia was a launch customer for the A320neo and has been urging Airbus to proceed with a re-engining of the A330 to produce an A330neo—a move Airbus has so far resisted.
LionAir operates about 70 Boeing 737NGs and has an astounding 337 on order. It is the launch customer for the 737-9 MAX and was the first customer to sign a firm contract for the airplane. LionAir is poised to order 100 Airbus A320/A321 neos, presumably for the new venture.