Malindo Air receives AOC ahead of March start date

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Malindo Air has received its air operator certificate (AOC) from Malaysia's civil aviation department, and is on track to start operations in March.

The Malaysia-based carrier, a joint venture between Indonesia's Lion Air and Malaysia's National Aerospace and Defence Industries, received its AOC on 21 February, Lion's president director Rusdi Kirana told Flightglobal.

He adds that the carrier will start operations on 20 March with thrice daily services on the Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur-Kuching routes. By June, it will also begin international services.

Malindo will take delivery of its first Boeing 737-900ER aircraft on 15 March, and will receive about two aircraft monthly until it has a fleet of 10, says Kirana.

The carrier's launch date was pushed forward two months to March because of the need for a hub that can channel Lion's feed to major destinations in the north, Kirana had previously said.

Malindo will eventually be based at Kuala Lumpur International Airport's upcoming terminal two, which is dedicated to low-cost carriers. Kirana did not say whether it will initially be based at KLIA's main terminal or its low-cost terminal.

The airline will focus on routes between Malaysia and Lion's hubs in Indonesia, and serve domestic routes in Malaysia.