Home' Asian Aviation : AAV Dec Jan2011 2012. Contents 6 AsianAviation | DECEMBER 2011 / JANUARY 2012
Lion Air, Indonesia's largest private airline, announced
on 17 November that it has made a commitment
to order 201 re-engined Boeing 737 MAXs and 29
Next-Generation 737-900 ERs (extended range) -- a
potential record order for Boeing.
"The 737 MAX will be the future of Lion
Air," says Rusdi Kirana, founder and president
director of the Jakarta-based carrier. "The ...
airplane will help Lion Air continue to bring low
fares and allow us to open new destinations
because of [its] longer range."
With 230 aircraft valued at US$21.7 billion
at list prices, this deal once finalised will
be the largest commercial airplane order in
Boeing's history by both dollar value and total
number of aircraft, the manufacturer says.
As Asian Aviation went to press, Boeing and
Lion Air were working to finalise details of the
agreement to convert it into a firm order.
Included in the deal are purchase rights for
an additional 150 airplanes valued at more
than $14 billion, if exercised at list prices.
US President Barack Obama witnessed the
announcement at the mid-November East Asia
Summit in Bali, Indonesia.
"Lion Air was a leader when it was the launch
customer for the 737-900ER in 2005 and today
it continues to be a leader as the first airline in
Asia to commit to the 737 MAX," says Boeing
Commercial Airplanes President and Chief
Executive Jim Albaugh.
The 737 MAX is the latest development of
Boeing's best-selling 737 single-aisle jetliner. It
features CFM International's new LEAP 1-B engines,
promising maximum efficiency and reliability.
"Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see
a 10-12 percent fuel-burn improvement over
today's most fuel efficient single-aisle airplanes
and a 7 percent operating cost advantage over
tomorrow's competition," Boeing says.
"The 737 MAX will deliver fuel savings
better than any competing single-aisle airplane
on the market," says Ray Conner, senior vice-
president of Sales and Customer Support,
Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
To date, the 737 MAX has won more than
700 commitments. The current Next-Generation
737 family has won more than 6,000 orders and
more than 3,800 have been delivered. Lion Air
currently operates, or has on order, 178 Next-
Generation 737s. -- Andrzej Jeziorski
Cargo demand in October fell 4.7 percent from
the same month in 2010, while passenger
traffic showed a 3.6 percent increase,
according to the International Air Transport
"Cargo is the story of the month," says Tony
Tyler, IATA director general and chief executive.
"Since mid-year the market has shrunk almost
5 percent and this is far greater than the 1
percent fall in world trade. Air freight is among
the first sectors to suffer when businesses
While business confidence has declined
considerably in recent months, industrial
output has not. But in anticipation of weaker
economic activity, there is a shift to cheaper
and slower modes of transport.
By contrast, the trend for passenger travel
remains positive, but with strong regional
differences. Despite the deepening euro-zone
crisis, European carriers have shown above-
average demand growth of 6.4 percent.
"With Europe accounting for 29.2 percent
of global air travel, this suggests that the
current overall strength in air travel is based on
fragile foundations," Tyler says.
International air travel increased 4.6 percent
over October 2010 -- in line with an overall
upward trend, albeit at a slowing pace.
International passenger load factors stood at
77.6 percent, down from 79.5 percent at the
same time last year.
Asia-Pacific carriers reported a 3.8 percent
increase in international passenger demand
against a 7.5 percent increase in capacity,
resulting in a load factor of 75.2 percent.
While the region's airlines benefitted from the
fast growth of Asian exports in the immediate
post-recession recovery, in the past year,
European exporters took the lead in export
growth on the back of a weak Euro. This is
one of the reasons why Asia-Pacific carriers
have performed worse than their European
Domestic passenger markets grew by 2 percent
compared with October 2010. Capacity growth
in domestic markets outstripped this gain,
showing a 2.4 percent increase over the previous
year. This is in line with the long-term growth
trend for domestic markets of 2.0 percent.
However, it is well below the 8 percent growth
experienced during the post-recession recovery.
India recorded the strongest growth in
demand with an increase of 11 percent. This
is less than the 17.1 percent year-to-date
growth and well below the country's 16.6
percent capacity expansion. Load factors
stood at 73.8 percent.
Chinese domestic traffic grew 8.4 percent
from year-earlier levels, slightly below the
capacity expansion of 8.8 percent. Load factors
stood at 83.1 percent, up 8 percentage points
from levels achieved only three years ago,
playing an important role in improving the
profitability of Chinese airlines.
-- Andrzej Jeziorski
Lion Air signs record US$21.7 bln 737 commitment
October air freight demand continues decline, IATA says
Lion Air has become the first Asian customer
for Boeing s re-engined 737 MAX.
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