Lion Air to Start New Private Jet Services
Lion Air is expected to begin to operating private jet services by May 2012 following confirmation of approval from the authorities for it to run the service, a director at the company said.
Edward Sirait, the airline’s general director, said it was in the midst of negotiations with medium-sized business jet manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft to determine the lease agreements for its planes.
He said Lion planned to operate two private jet services initially, followed by another two if the venture was a success.
“The capacity for the jets would be for nine passengers. We are still negotiating the price of the jets,” Edward said.
The jets can be chartered, not just for short-distance trips but also long-distance flights with a maximum nine-hour flying time. It potentially could serve flights to Hong Kong, as executives from both Hong Kong and Indonesia often travel that route. “We are targeting banking or mining executives,” Edward said.
Herry Bakti Singayuda Gumay, director general of air transportation at the Ministry of Transportation, said Lion sent a proposal to secure a license and the ministry had approved it.
“Lion already has its license. It was easy as it does not need a new business license. Its new business will be attached to Lion’s existing business license that will come under the category of scheduled flights. The context will be just adding its fleet,” Herry said.
He also welcomed Lion’s move, saying Lion’s new services would bring the airline into competition with world-class airlines.
Apart from planning to run private jets, the low-cost carrier also intends to become a “full service” airline by establishing a subsidiary called Space Jet sometime in 2012 or early 2013, Edward said. Full-service airlines include first-class flights.