Faisal Maliki Baskoro
A unit of the company behind Lion Air has launched Lion Bizjet, a private jet service targeting both individual and corporate customers.
“Lion Bizjet is ready to fly. … Its air operator certificate was issued last month,” Edward Sirait, a general affairs director at Lion Mentari Airlines, said in a news release on Sunday.
The move toward high-end clients represents diversification for the company, given that Lion Air is the largest budget carrier in Indonesia. The Bizjet service, which is provided by Lion subsidiary Angkasa Super Service, will be available 24 hours a day, with aircraft available within three hours of a reservation, it said.
Lion Bizjet will operate two Hawker Beechcraft 900XP jet aircraft, which have a capacity of eight passengers each. Edward said the company planned to increase its fleet to four planes next year.
He said the company had decided to enter the private jet market because of the nation’s strong domestic economic growth. The plan for Bizjet had been in the works since last year, he added.
The statement said about $100 million had been spent to establish Lion Bizjet. “One Hawker Beechcraft costs around $17 million,” said Rusdi Kirana, the president director of Lion Mentari.
He added that the company was not limiting its target market to the super wealthy. Rusdi said Lion Bizjet will offer up discounts of up to 30 percent on the market rate for similar services.
“Flying with Lion Bizjet should not be a luxury matter,” Rusdi said.
On Friday, Lion celebrated its 12th birthday at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta. At the celebration, Edward said Lion was ready to provide full service flights through its Batik Air unit, which is keen to operate routes to South Asia, East Asia and Australia.
Meanwhile, airport operator Angkasa Pura I said it had reached an agreement with Execujet Aviation Group to build a special terminal for irregular flights, such as for private jets, an executive said.
Execujet Aviation is a global business aviation firm with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.