Lion and Malaysian firm to announce airline joint venture

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Indonesia's Lion Air and Malaysia's National Aerospace & Defence Industries (NADI) are on the verge of forming a new joint venture airline in Malaysia.

"As we continue to grow and develop our business, we will be working with Lion Group, Indonesia's largest privately-run airline, to provide their fleet with MRO services, as well as embarking on a strategic partnership to introduce a new airline to the region," NADI said in an event invitation to celebrate the joint venture on 11 September 2012.

When Flightglobal contacted Lion to learn more, the Indonesian carrier declined to discuss details of the joint venture such as its business model, shareholder structure, aircraft types and routes.

The event will be held in a hotel in Kuala Lumpur and will be attended by Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak.

The news comes just one week after Malaysia's AirAsia gained approval from the Indonesian government to acquire Batavia Air. The deal, likely to be completed in the second quarter of 2013, will add 33 aircraft to AirAsia Indonesia's current fleet of 19. The move will strengthen AirAsia's competitive position in Lion's home market.

NADI is a conglomerate involved in aerospace businesses such as MRO, engine modifications and upgrades, aerospace parts manufacturing and avionics.