Lion Air to tap high end market with Space Jet venture

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Indonesian low cost carrier Lion Air plans to target the private jet and premium traveller market with its Space Jet unit.

Space Jet will commence operations in May 2012 when Lion receives he first of two Hawker 900XP private jets, said Rusdi Kirana, president director of Lion Air. He said these aircraft will be available for charter and time sharing.

Space Jet will also commence service in 2013 with 16 737 aircraft in a two class layout. These aircraft will be equipped with an in-flight entertainment system and onboard wifi. These aircraft will be operated as a full service, scheduled carrier.

"Our goal is to open the airways to Indonesia's people," said Rusdi. "To do this we need to segment the market."

Rusdi also said that Lion's planed joint venture to with Malaysia's Berjaya Air to form a Malaysian low cost carrier has fallen through. "This deal would have been good to have, but was not completely necessary," he said.