Lion Air has 136 737 NGs on order and in December signed a contract that contributed 29 737-900ERs to that total and added 201 737 MAX aircraft to the carrier’s order book.
The new accord with NADI goes beyond simply establishing a new operator in Malaysia. It also addresses maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); supply chain management; and staff training.
Rusdi says NADI and Lion Air will establish training centers in Malaysia to develop a source of maintenance technicians, cabin crew and pilots. Lion Air also has an agreement with NADI, under which NADI's Malaysia-based MRO company, Airod, will perform heavy maintenance checks on some of Lion Air’s 737s.
The two companies will work together on supply chain management of aircraft components and parts, Rusdi says.
Lion Air is working to establish its own ATR and Boeing 737 airframe heavy maintenance facility on Indonesia’s Batam Island. A Lion Air spokesman says there is no plan to involve Airod in this facility.
Malindo Airways will be Lion Air’s first overseas affiliate carrier. The new airline still needs to secure a Malaysian AOC for scheduled commercial operations, which is subject to approval by the cabinet.
Rusdi, however, does appear to have the backing of the country’s prime minister, Najib Razak, who on Sept. 11 voiced his support for the venture.
Malaysia's airline industry is dominated by national carrier Malaysia Airlines and regional low-cost powerhouse AirAsia.