Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air has made another massive aircraft purchase, ordering 234 A320 Family aircraft from Airbus.
The deal, valued at A$23.1 billion at list prices, comes a little more than a year after Lion Air ordered 230 Boeing 737s. The carrier currently operates a fleet of 92 aircraft, almost all from Boeing.
The major expansion has fueled speculation that Lion Air may try to enter the Australian market. The carrier announced plans in 2008 to launch an Australian based domestic and international airline as part of a joint venture, though that deal later fell through.
Lion’s most recent buy includes 60 A320s slated for delivery beginning next year as well as 109 A320neo and 65 A321neo aircraft scheduled to arrive from 2016. In a statement, Lion Air said it would use the aircraft on its expanding domestic and regional network and would announce engine selections in the near future.
“The fuel-efficient A320 Family will enable Lion Air to achieve the lowest possible operating costs and continue to offer the most competitive fares in the Asian region,” said Rusdi Kirana, co-founder and CEO of Lion Air Group. “This landmark order will ensure that the Lion Air Group will continue its expansion with one of the most modern and advanced fleets in the world.”