Low-cost carrier Lion Mentari Airlines will break into the ground transport industry under a partnership with Indian commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland, company president Rusdi Kirana announced during a ceremony at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta.
The Indonesian airline will begin assembling buses sometime in the coming year, Rusdi said at a ceremony marking the 12th anniversary of the airline. The new division is part of an effort to diversity the company’s business interests. Rusdi said the buses will be offered to several cities in Indonesia.
“We will try to offer our product, assembled buses, to several
cities in cooperation with cooperatives,” he said. “The buses could be purchased on
credit and there will be no need to pay a down-payment, but the credit
installments would be made on a daily basis. In five years, the bus will
become the property of the concerned cooperative.”
It is unknown which of Ashok Leyland’s buses the company will assemble, where the plant will be located or how much the vehicles will cost.
The Lion Air president also detailed plans to break into long-haul flights with its new Batik Air carrier. The new airline will use two models — the Boeing 737-900ER and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner — for flights, offering passengers amenities like television, WiFi and in-flight telephone service, Rusdi said.
“As an initial step, we will use nine units of 737-900ER while the Dreamliners will be used in 2015,” he said.
The full-service carrier will be based in Medan — where the new Kuala Namu International Airport is under construction. Rusdi said Batik Air will offer flights to Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai as well as to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Premium seats on Batik Air would be about 40 to 50 percent higher that the government-set prices, he said.