Already Indonesia's second-largest airline, Lion Air has seen explosive growth since it commenced operations in 2000 as a low-cost carrier, flying a single Boeing 737-200 on domestic routes.
The company now serves more than 36 domestic destinations from its main base in Jakarta, in addition to a growing international network, linking Indonesia with Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. While claiming to remain true to its low-cost roots, Lion Air has now introduced a full-service Business Class on its 737-900ER fleet.
Apparently following the strategy successfully developed by Air Asia and JetStar, Lion Air is creating and investing in subsidiary companies in East Asia. Besides participating in the creation of Myanmar Airlines, Lion Air already offers a subsidiary brand, Wings Air, a commuter airline in Indonesia, flying ATR72 turboprops. Further brand announcements include the creation of Space Jet, a premium full-service airline, and Batik Air, a long-haul low-fare airline startup.
Privately owned by Indonesian entrepreneur, Rusdi Kirana, The airline has made recent news headlines by placing the largest aircraft orders in the history of the industry.
Already operator of the world's largest fleet of Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, Lion Air placed its first record-breaking aircraft order in 2012, for 230 more Boeing 737 variants, including 209 737 MAX 9s. The order has been valued in excess of US$22 billion, and aircraft deliveries are due to begin in 2016.
The astounding order from Boeing was surpassed in March 2013 with a further record-breaking deal with Airbus for 234 A320 variants, worth a reported US$24 billion, and taking Lion Air a step nearer to its stated ambition to operate a fleet of 1,000 aircraft.