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Indonesia's Lion Air looks to expand with newer 737s

Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air plans to use its newly-ordered Boeing 737 aircraft - including 201 of the re-engined 737 Max - to expand domestically and regionally, including possibly launching new services to destinations in China and India.

Last week's order for a total of 230 Boeing 737s - 201 of the re-engined 737 Max and 29 737-900ERs - is based on a projected 10-15% annual growth in its domestic and regional markets, said Edward Sirait, the airline's general affairs director. It could launch new regional services on the back of this, he added.

 Lion Air 737 MAX web

 © Boeing

The new aircraft will replace the 737-300/-400 Classics and MD-90 aircraft in its existing fleet.

The airline will finance its purchase, which inlcudes an option for a fuerther 150 aircraft, through loans from banks and the US Export-Import Bank, added Sirait.

Lion Air already has orders for 125 more 737-800/-900s, according to Flightglobal's ACAS database.

Boeing expects to deliver the 737 Max to customers in 2017.

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