Privately owned Indonesian carrier Lion Air is looking to add a widebody aircraft type to its fleet to support new long-haul services to China and India while bolstering its Boeing MD-82/83 fleet, writes Leithen Francis.

Lion Air president Rusdi Kirana says the carrier wants to lease either two Airbus A330s or Boeing 777s, with the latter being the favoured choice at this stage. Kirana also says the carrier is negotiating with International Lease Finance and GE Capital Aviation Services to increase its MD-82/83 fleet to 33 aircraft within the next few months.

The Jakarta-based carrier began domestic operations in 2000 and has since expanded internationally with services to Singapore and Malaysia using its fleet of 18 MD-82/83s.

It now plans to add services from Medan in Sumatra to Calcutta and Chennai in India, as well as from Jakarta to Guangzhou, China and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, using the longer-range aircraft.

Source: Flight International