Home' Asian Aviation : AAV March 2012 Contents 8 AsianAviation | MARCH 2012
Lion Air finalises massive 737 order
AOT increases airport charges
AirAsia Philippines poised to start operations
Boeing and Jakarta-based Lion Air in mid-
February finalized a firm order for 201 re-
engined 737 MAX single-aisle jetliners and 29
extended-range 737-900ERs. The agreement,
first announced last November in Indonesia,
also includes purchase rights for an additional
"The 737 MAX is the best choice for Lion Air
and the best airplane to serve our passengers,"
says Rusdi Kirana, Lion Air founder and president
director. "We're excited to be the first airline in
Asia to fly the 737 MAX and to be the global
launch customer of the 737 MAX 9."
The deal, valued at a total US$22.4 billion at
list prices, is the largest commercial airplane order
ever in Boeing's history by both dollar value and
total number of aircraft. Lion Air will also acquire
purchase rights for an additional 150 jetliners.
"Today more people are flying in Asia at
lower fares because of the 737, and this
historic 737 MAX order will help connect more
people in the future," says Dinesh Keskar,
vice-president of Asia-Pacific and India Sales for
Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The 737 MAX is powered by CFM International
LEAP-1B engines "to deliver the highest
efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in
the single-aisle market", Boeing says. "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 per seat advantage over
tomorrow's competition," the manufacturer adds.
To date, Boeing has orders and commitments
for more than 1,000 737 MAX aircraft from 15
customers and the Next-Generation 737 family
has won orders for more than 6,600 airplanes.
-- Andrzej Jeziorski
Airports of Thailand (AOT) will increase
its passenger service charge (PSC) for
international flights at the country's six
major airports by 100 baht (US$3.24) to 800
baht from 1 July.
Of the increase, 90 baht will cover security
tax. The six airports affected are: Bangkok's
Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang
Airport; Hat Yai International Airport;
Phuket International Airport, Chiang
Mai International Airport and Chiang Rai
The charge for domestic flights will be
increased in June 2013 from the current 100
baht to 255 baht. AOT attributes the hike
to the high cost of implementing a new,
advanced passenger information system.
The system will allow the agency to
transmit passengers' personal data from
their passports and flight information to all
airport operators. The system, which is to be
commissioned on the day the PSC increases,
still requires approval from the Ministry of
Transport, the cabinet and Thai security
The publicly-listed, government-backed
AOT says it is confident that it will secure
the required approval. -- William Dennis
The Lion Air deal is Boeing's biggest ever --
both by dollar value and by number of aircraft.
NEWS IN BRIEF
RAK AIRWAYS will launch four-times weekly
flights from its base at Ras Al Khaimah,
United Arab Emirates, to Bangkok on 1 June
using Boeing 737-800 jetliners. Bangkok will
be the carrier's 12th destination and its first
outside the Middle East and the Indian sub-
continent. The airline launched flights to the
Nepalese capital, Kathmandu on 15 February.
The airline's name is an acronym for its home
base, one of the seven states of the UAE.
RAK operates a hybrid of the full-service and
low-cost business models, offering customers
30kg of free check-in luggage and hot meals
on all flights. State-controlled RAK, which was
launched in 2005 and began operations the
following year, suspended operations from
2007-2009 and was relaunched in 2010.
New AirAsia affiliate AirAsia Philippines (AAP)
is poised to begin operations in March, with
domestic and regional flights initially operated
using two Airbus A320 single-aisle jetliners.
The low-cost carrier (LCC) will use
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
(DMIA) in Clark as its base and plans to serve
destinations between from one-and-a-half to
four hours' flight time from the hub.
AAP had originally planned to launch flights
in November 2011, but did not obtain its air
operating certificate from the Civil Aviation
Authority of the Philippines until 7 February.
The new carrier is expected to compete
directly with rival Cebu Pacific Air, which
offers flights to Cebu, Macau, Singapore and
Hong Kong from Clark.
According to AAP Chief Executive Officer
Marianne Hontiveros, the carrier expects to
have a fleet of 14-16 A320s within its first five
years of operation.
AAP is a joint venture partnership between
Malaysia's AirAsia and three Filipino investors.
Hontiveros, Antonio Cojuangco and Michael
Romero each hold 20 percent stakes in the
company, while AirAsia has the remaining 40
percent. -- William Dennis
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