Lion Air, an Indonesian airline which operates domestic routes within Indonesia and to Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, have annouced plans to purchase 408 new aircraft. The first part of the deal will be the purchase of 230 Boeing planes totaling $21.7 billion, with the first delivery in 2017.
The purchase of 230 aircraft will be the largest single transaction in Boeings 94 year history. The bill for 408 aircraft is expected to total $37.7 billion. To put the purchase in perspective this is 3 times the size of the current Qantas fleet.
The airline plans to use the new fleet to both expand routes among the 6,000 inhabited islands in Indonesia as well as new routes to Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan. The soaring fortunes of Indonesia echoes the number of Indonesians taking to the skies -- this year, the numbers traveling by air within the country is expected to rise 15%, the Indonesian Transportation Ministry said.
"As Indonesia's middle class increases in number, more and more people will be traveling throughout the archipelago," said Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa. "And the easiest way to travel is air transport, and so that why I think the projection ahead will be quite promising, and offer many opportunities for many."