Thai Lion to launch at end-2013 with two 737-900ERs

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Lion Air’s low-cost Thai unit plans to start service by the end of 2013, operating two Boeing 737-900ER aircraft.

Thai Lion will initially serve three destinations from its base at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport, says a company spokesman.

It will serve Jakarta twice daily, Kuala Lumpur once daily, and Chiang Mai three times daily. More aircraft will be added to the fleet in 2014.

Bangkok-Chang Mai is Thailand’s highest capacity domestic route, according to FlightMaps Analytics. Thai Lion will face Thai Airways, Thai AirAsia, Orient Thai Airlines, Bangkok Airways, and Nok Air on this route.

Bangkok-KL is also a competitive market dominated by AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, and Thai Airways. The Bangkok-Jakarta route now has four players: Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia, Tigerair Mandala, and Thai Airways.