Lion Air's 737 Ex-Im request under review

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A request from Lion Air and Transportation Partners for US Export-Import Bank guarantees to finance Boeing 737 aircraft is under review, according to the export credit agency.

The support is intended for "Lion Air, Batik Air, Malindo Airways and/or Transportation Partners", according to the export credit agency's minutes on the request.

Transportation Partners negotiates on behalf of the Lion Air for all its financings, including sale and leasebacks and strategic investments. The aircraft leasing and advisory vehicle was approved by Singapore's economic development board in 2012.

Lion Air is due to launch two new airlines this year. New premium carrier Batik Air will commence operations in the third quarter of 2013 with Boeing 737-900ER aircraft.

The launch date of Malaysian carrier Malindo Airways has been brought forward two months to March, with Boeing 737-900ER aircraft to form the cornerstone of its business model.

Five Boeing 787-8 aircraft originally intended for Batik are now going to Malindo, which is a joint venture between Lion and Malaysia's National Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI). NADI will hold a 51% stake in the new carrier and Lion will hold 49%.

Malindo will operate 12 737-900ERs by the end of 2013 and will receive an additional 12 in both 2014 and 2015. In 2015, it will receive five Boeing 787-8s, bringing its total fleet to 41 aircraft by the end of 2015.

Batik is targeting a fleet of 100 aircraft within 10 years.

Lion Air has orders for 333 Boeing 737 aircraft, including 201 of the re-engined Max variant, and five Boeing 787-8s, due to be delivered through to 2024.