Lion Air To Commence Flight to Nias

Thursday, March 19, 2009
By nias

JAKARTA (Nias Online) – Lion Air air carrier through its subsidiary company Wings Air will commence flight to Nias this year. The plan will be realised through the assigment of two of the 5 ATR 72-500 type turboprop planes to be received and which will commence flight in May 2009.

“So far, according to plan, in May 2009, the first of the ten ATR French made 72-500 aircrafts will arrive. Initially, two of those aircratfs will be based in Medan to serve ‘feeder’ flight from Gunungsitoli and Lhoksumawe and neighbouring regions,” said Edward Sirait, the Lion Air General Director, in Jakarta Wednesday (18/3).

He said this year Lion Air will receive five ATR aircrafts. Two will be based in in Medan, two in Kalimantan dan one will be serving Sulawesi region. The remaining 5 units will arrive in 2010 and will serve eastern Indonesia. “Later, those aircrafts will be run by Wings Air, a subsidary company of Lion air,” he said.

In the middle of last year, the Executive Director of Lion Air Rusdi Kirana told Nias Online his company planned to open flight to and from Nias. This move, he said, aimed to strengthen Lion Air market share in the western region and to tap into the Nias tourism potential.

Replace MD-80 Series
Edward also revelaed Lion Air plan to replace all its MD-80 series carriers with Boeing 737-900ER whilst the replacement of MD-90 series will follow. Those aircraft will be assigned as standby units.

“This is part of our responses to Minister of Transportation advice to rejuvenate our MD series. Initially, MD-80 series will be rejuvenated this year and MD-p0 series will follow,” he said.

The rejuvenation could not be done at once, it depends on the schedule of the new aircrafts arrival. In addition, simultaneous rejuvenation will stagnate a number of routes currently being served. He said, eleven MD-80 units and 2 of the 5 MD-90 are currently operating.

He said Lion Air received one B 737-900ER aircraft on Tuesday night (17/3) and another will arrive on 25 March 2009 resulting in 20 aircrafts that have been received to date. That number will increase to 30 to the end of this year and 42 in 2010 of the total 178 units ordered. “Through this rejuvenation program we hope we can resolve the reliability issue that has been our clients’ main corncern to date,” he said.

He also said that this month Lion Air would receive two Boeing 747-400 to begin serving the regular flight to Jedah in June 2009. The flight will tap into the potential Indonesian labour and Moslem pilgrimage passengers. Those 480-passenger wide-body aircrafts will need to be reconfigured before commencing operation to enable to offer business and economy classes to passengers. (Etis Nehe/*|*)

One Response to “Lion Air To Commence Flight to Nias”

  1. 1
    Gaba Z Says:

    It’s good news

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